Lisa Ocasio Hirkaler was born and raised in New York City, and now lives in Sparta, New Jersey. From her perch on the fire escape in the Bronx, Lisa was intuitively drawn to all forms of art and nature from a young age. Fascinated by the convergence of her perception and expression, the boundaries between external habitat and internal landscape, Lisa embarked upon her artistic exploration. Beginning with painting and sculpture, Lisa soon expanded her practice to honor the creative legacy of her mother, fiber artist Mary Ocasio. With a strong grounding in fiber arts, Lisa began diving deeper into her own practice in traditional arts, intrigued by the modes of expression which bring women together to connect and co-create. Lisa finds the comfort and tranquility of creating fiber arts to be a nourishing and healing medium, and has been focusing on this for the past several years.
Lisa's work in the fiber arts, in addition to being a way of honoring her creative heritage, is also a manifestation of her desire to remain in a close relationship with the non-human creatures of her habitat. About ten years ago, Lisa began raising her own animals and working with other women farmers to reconnect to the ancient wisdom of the earth, harvesting materials for sculpture directly from the environment. Though Lisa no longer raises her own animals, she continues to work closely with women farmers to further cultivate community. She continues this practice for the love of the earth, animals, her mother's gift to her, and a powerful urge to create tangible expression of the beauty and truth she feels within. Lisa has also found this practice to be centering, grounding, and deeply healing -- all sentiments which are visible in her "Orifice/Emergence" and "Repair/Recover" series now on display at Pleiades Gallery in Chelsea, New York City or at Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, New Jersey and Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey.
Lisa is also a high school art teacher, and aims to share this vision of artistic flow coming from a deep place of love, compassion, and non-judgment. Lisa's teaching is engaging, and encourages her students to tap into their own unique way of being through art.
Her latest installation, November 2016, Pleiades Gallery, NYC, her solo exhibition will focus on the repair and recovery of these injured pod beings. A multiple sensory experience of shape, space, and spirit is intended to rise our senses to art that evokes more.