Gammaray (Emma) Lister is a mover, shaker, maker, tinkerer, set designer, and object maker from Chicagoland, Illinois. They earned their BA from Knox College in 2017 where they majored in Studio Art and minored in Theater Design and Technology. They have participated in artist residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (2017) and the Chautauqua Institution in New York (2015). They are currently living on the road, communing and learning with with artists, teachers, theater makers, movement artists, puppeteers and activists from around the country.
"I think of my art less as an answer to a question or a drive towards an achievement and more as a communion with the world around me- a conversation the dark- a breaking of bread between physical realities and more elusive sensations that are seeking bodies to inhabit. . As I become increasingly aware of the responsibilities linked to my identity as an artist- as one who takes up physical space in the world with my own creations- my recent work has become more focused on the use of natural and/or locally produced/recycled materials as well as upon community-minded art-making practices. I collect, shape, and combine materials; subjecting them to my own hand while also heeding the deep sensibilities inherent in each particular object, receiving that information in a way that affects how I move forward with each construction.
I see the cultivation of fine artistic and craft skills as a method of self determination and community empowerment. As I become increasingly capable of building the things I imagine, I become more able to extend knowledge and resources to my peers and students in a way that allows them to see themselves as creative, able, and successful. When we imagine and build together, our collective power grows and art becomes not a mere anecdote but a vital means to realizing dreams. My desire is to hone my own skills as well as to bring these skills with me as I continue to facilitate workshops, classroom activities, and community gatherings that utilize artistic mediums as a vehicle for identity exploration and collective visioning."