Lisa Oechsli's (pronounced x-lee) journey into the world of photography began her junior year in high school. She needed an elective to replace the computer programming class that she desperately wanted out of and found a love instead. She took photography for two years in high school before graduating and becoming busy with the demands of work and family. Once her children were grown and raising their own families, she began to reacquaint herself with her love.
"My daughter and her husband put together the first portfolio of my photographs as a Christmas present," she said. "It was a pivotal moment for me."
It was through further encouragement from her son-in-law that she continued with her creative interests by entering an art festival where she sold a few pieces. She then won second place in the Literary LEO competition for a photograph titled "Burning Rye". Lisa has also placed twice at the Kentucky State Fair and shoots concerts at Expo Five.
"I am inspired by everything around me, from people to puddles." says Lisa. "I have also enjoyed exploring self-portraiture, or as I like to refer to it, a self-inflicted photograph! It is a very personal creative process that allows me to tell my own story. It is autobiographical visual journalism."
Self Portrait: Another Crimson Catharsis was on display as part of the Red show at the Monkey Wrench over the summer.
Lisa's work continues to weave its way through the Louisville creative scenes as she participates in art shows at the Monkey Wrench, Bearnos by the Bridge and Bodega. She also displays some of her work at Solidarity, a gallery and event space owned and curated by her daughter and son-in-law, Samantha and Karl Otto.
Her favorite creation is a self portrait inspired by Hunter S. Thompson that will be on display until December 13.
"It was created for GonzoFest, and is a Hunter S. Thompson inspired self portrait. The frame is collaged with text from his famous gonzo papers. I searched the text for anything that spoke to me about my own life, and it became a part of the art piece."
Her current work includes shooting photography for local films by Mugshot Productions and the upcoming film Nothing in the Flowers by Slipstream Films. In the future, she looks forward to doing more studio work at her in-home studio.