Lily Wieleba

Artist Statement

My art tells the stories of the people, places and times in my life that I love and that define me. I use printmaking as a way to hold on to memories and people and places I can no longer tangibly hold or experience. Sometimes this means taking a memory and including every little detail I can remember from it, dragging in elements to help emphasize the importance of the moment.Sometimes it means appreciating the simplicity and peacefulness of it. In both cases I am able to sit and feel fully absorbed in that moment, captured in the sweet feeling of reminiscence.  

Etching came into my life the same time that my close friend Sarah left it. The possibility of Sarah’s death was always on my mind. There was always hope that Sarah would overcome the years of abuse she had endured and that she’d find a way to exist without the aid of drugs, but subconsciously I think I knew the end was coming and that I needed an outlet for that.  That’s how etching came to be so vital to me. Sarah always evaded description and understanding, and if she can’t be fully described in words, maybe art is the other way to help capture the mesmerizing enigma that is Sarah Fauver. 

My process begins with pictures of the people, places, and moments I want to create an etching about. Sometimes I collage the images together, and sometimes I use a picture as my main reference, and add little details I can remember from other moments with that person or in that place as I draw into my plate. 

My memories of these places and people feel like a fantasy to me. I try to emphasize that with all of the intricate details I add into my prints; every little detail has meaning to me in some way and I want the viewer to feel that as well. I want people to be able to get lost in my prints the same way I get lost in them while creating them, feeling surrounded by undying memories.

Artist Bio

Durham, North Carolina based artist, Lily Wieleba began etching in her sophomore year of college and has now received a Bachelor of Arts degree in printmaking and history. Lily’s love for etching comes from her passion to create small, intricate, autobiographical prints that explore her memories of places, people, and points of time that give her a sense of comfort and sanctuary. In 2020 Wieleba received the Guilford College Art Appreciation Club Merit Award, An annual award presented by a Greensboro-based community organization recognizing outstanding artistic achievement by a student in the arts (creative writing, music, theatre, and visual arts).