Lisa Rosenmeier has loved drawing since childhood.
Though she never pursued an Art degree, she has what she calls a “Studio Gallery” in City Market. “I never saw myself becoming an artist,” she says. “It just kind of happened to me.” Her first introduction to the art world was in a coffee shop after the housing market crash of 2008 and the loss of her job with an interior design firm. She later moved to Savannah and found employment with SCAD, working in one of their wood shops for three years before her job ended due to restructuring and the closing of that shop’s location. Finding herself unemployed again, her husband asked her: “What are you doing? The reason you can’t find work is because you’re fighting who you’re meant to be. You’re a painter.”
Rosenmeier signed a lease for her studio in January 2020, just two months before Covid shut down much of the country. After two galleries that sold her work closed forever and she also parted ways with a co-op gallery that she had been part of, things were looking bleak. But, no stranger to adversity, she found a way to survive. “During the early days of the shutdown I had to make some really hard financial decisions,” she says. “Choosing between my new studio or the co-op gallery I had been with for five years was really hard; I couldn’t afford both.”
At home for many months, Lisa continued to paint.
She posted images on social media and trying to lift people’s spirits. Although no one could come to the gallery, people would occasionally call about wanting paintings. Lisa knew she was going to have to get clever and find a solution if she was going to keep moving forward. Gathering up her paintings and easels, she would take them to individual homes and set them up in their yards, backing away to allow patrons to look at her work. “Sometimes I would mail them out, leave them on doorsteps, I found a way. I had no idea there were so many art lovers in Savannah or that so many people were following my work. It was kinda cool.”
So, what is her work like?
Rosenmeier calls her style of painting “realistration,” a sort of fusion of traditional realism while embracing the contour lines of illustration. However, the meaning behind her work lies beyond the obvious image you see at first glance. “I don’t remember my dreams,” she says, “but I do latch onto a thought and think about the why.” She also observes people’s behavior, researches various topics, and looks to patterns for inspiration before starting a painting. “It’s like watching a crow pick out the raisins from a discarded bagel, then listening to a friend talk about how they feel trapped in a job and want to move onto something new. My work is to find a common connection with both and then explore how to express it to others visually.”
In 2022, Rosenmeier is happily established in her studio at City Market. Of Savannah, she says: “It’s the perfect mix of busy and slow. There’s plenty to do and it’s not overbuilt.” If you happen to be strolling near City Market, be sure to treat yourself and stop in!
Lisa Rosenmeier Art Studio
308 W. Saint Julian St.