Lynell Ingram is a painter and mixed-media artist from Arlington Heights, IL, who graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. She is interested in contrasts of figurative realism with surreal and colorful abstraction and is influenced by social issues affecting women (all womxn) as well as mental health stigmas, and where the two intersect.
Ingram spent 15 years working in graphic arts and illustration before making the full transition to painting and fine arts, bringing a touch of illustration sensibility to her work. She is listed in the All She Makes women’s artist directory, published in Kilter Magazine and the Daily Herald, and has exhibited work in multiple Chicagoland galleries and pop-up shows. She recently finished the Inspiration Project, 100 portraits of inspirational people in 100 days, is currently working on a body of work called ‘Boundaries,’ exploring the struggle for full autonomy of women’s minds and bodies, and is offering custom portrait commissions.
As a visual artist, all of my work searches for meaning, hope, resolution, and catharsis in relation to my experience in the world as a woman. My subject matter addresses issues of equality and agency, specifically in womxn’s rights, mental healthcare, and stigmas, the intersection of those topics, and ultimately believing there must be a path forward for a better world for all.
Exploring dichotomies is very important to my work, and this manifests especially in my medium choices. I offset soft, representative figures and portraits against graphic collage, line work, and color fields to explore turmoils hidden behind visages holding the weight of required composure, resilience, and cultural expectations. I use a combination of metaphor and folk-inspired symbolism to discuss frustrations, imposed limitations, and oppressions. Yet I lean heavily into over-the-top color because I also want there to be a sense of fun in my explorations. Loretta Ross once pointed out during a class that fighting oppression should come from a place of joy and hope, and I find that place when I create.
Mixing mediums, and combining the unexpected motivates everything that I create. I embrace visual mayhem over minimalism, as I believe it is the truest expression of reality.