Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) recently released the artwork that will be used throughout the season for each plays. For many years, the festival has commissioned different artists to create new pieces that bring together some of the themes in the plays for the season. This year, GRSF was able to commission Molly Lyn, a local tattoo artist and business owner, to create the season artwork.
GRSF’s new season artwork is now up on the website and beginning to appear in advertising for the season. Many people are surprised to learn that it was created by a tattoo artist, Winona resident Lyn.
“I’ve worked with Molly for a couple years now, and I love her work. However, it was actually one of our directors, Beth Gardiner, who suggested we commission her to create the season artwork,” said GRSF Marketing Director Eileen Moeller. Moeller said one of the highlights of the season planning process has always been working with a different artist to try to synthesize their individual style with what the festival hopes to communicate for the following season. “Molly is not only a fantastic artist, but an independent small business owner, and a great collaborator. I’m glad she was able to make time for us!” said Moeller.
When asked what interested her about working with the festival on season artwork instead of tattoos, Lyn said, “It is so different from my day job; as a tattooist the drawings I am preparing are very specific and created for the individual I am working with. With these paintings, I had complete creative freedom and that is very exciting!”
Lyn commented she enjoys communicating with clients as part of her creative process. “Art, in general, is all about balance for me. I like to take inspiration from multiple sources, and have lots of communication with clients before I start my creative process. The possibilities are endless, and I really enjoy exploring that.”
In past years, GRSF has collaborated with other local artists including Sarah Johnson, Julia Crozier, Jamie Harper, and Pete Sandker. While the majority of what GRSF produces is performance art, the festival collaborates with artists of varying media whenever possible.
As in seasons past, the original pieces created by the artist will be auctioned off during Callithump! on Thursday, July 30. Information about the plays and Lyn’s artwork can be found at grsf.org.
Great River Shakespeare Festival is a nonprofit, professional Equity theater company in Winona dedicated to dynamic productions of Shakespeare’s plays, extensive education and community outreach programs, and comprehensive theater training. Its production season has become a staple in the Winona arts scene since its inception 17 years ago. GRSF’s 17th season will feature “The Tempest,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Great Expectations,” and “Every Brilliant Thing.”