Introducing betterArts Resident Lilli Fisher

"Silent Birth" by Lilli Fisher, tarlatan and dirt, 40" diameter, May 2011
Lilli Fisher is a visual artist and sculptor from Alexandria, Virg., arriving tomorrow for a month-long betterArts residency. During her time at Better Farm, Lilli will be working on temporary outdoor installations featuring living and decaying works that may create habitats, be consumed, or be built by organisms in the ecosystem. The intent of her work will be to question human-environmental relationships.

Lilly in 2012 earned her BFA in painting and creative writing from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her sculptures, drawings, and paintings have been featured in multiple galleries along the east coast and in São Tomé and Príncipe. She has worked behind-the-scenes for studios and graphic designers; and participated in several community art projects.

In her own words:

"My work is a physical process of searching in which I investigate my existence in the context of contemporary life. I collect discarded human-made objects before they are swallowed back into the earth. I gather waste from industrial production and daily consumption. I apply ancient materials in the creation of contemporary symbols. Spices, herbs and dirt are my pigments. I interpret these culturally disparate substances as part of a globally interconnected ecological system in which we are all participants. My aim is to provide a sensual experience, removed from the boundaries of language, which encourages the viewer to question their paradigms... During my betterArts residency I intend to gain a personal understanding of human-ecosystem interactions through organic farming, create pieces that are integrated into the living fabric of their environment, and take advantage of the valuable feedback I can receive from the Better Farm community."

Overcast, plastic bags and coal, dimensions variable, 2012

The Alligator Never Sleeps, items found in the Jones Falls River, 72" x 18", 2012
Here's what Lilli had to say about her specific interest in a betterArts residency:

"BetterArts is unique among residencies in that it provides not only an artistic community but also a community of people devoted to living sustainably. This type of community is an invaluable resource for me because of the mode of artistic experimentation I want to explore. The feedback I receive will help me to make the work I really want to make, and to gauge the reaction it receives against a diverse group of perspectives and backgrounds. I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity to converse, contemplate, and collaborate with the community of Better Farm."

Be sure to stop in and check out Lilli's works-in-progress throughout the month! Completed works will be on display for the public to enjoy at the conclusion of her residency—stay tuned for more information!

To see more of Lilli Fisher's work, visit For more information about betterArts residencies, click here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.