Elizabeth (Lisa) Petrulis honors our animal connections with portrait scenarios.
Using classic black and white she paints the elegance of animal forms. Dramatic zoomed-in views of intimate slices of life, where the empty spaces are energized by character and friendship.
Raised by musicians Petrulis earned an MFA (in painting and sculpture) from Indiana State University and is retired from the Swope Art Museum both in Terre Haute.
Today she offers commission portraits, volunteers, and lives in rural Marshall, Illinois with her husband and Kitten Caboodle.
Read about Lisa in “Dog Days” by Steve Kash (photos Jessica Bolton) in Terre Haute Living, May 2014, p 45-49
“What makes Petrulis’ art particularly impressive is how well she has succeeded in taking her work so far beyond the tried and true realm of animal cuteness. Viewers might even come away from the exhibit feeling that she is revealing the indwelling architecture of dogs’ souls via her portrayal of them in striking poses and juxtapositions on canvas and paper.”
– Steve Kash, “Dog Days”, Terre Haute Living, Terre Haute, IN, May 2014: p 45
NOW and THEN (Experience)
Animal companions Ondine and Scamper eased Elizabeth (Lisa) Petrulis through childhood relocations and awkward adolescence. In honor of these and other rescued creatures today she paints pet portraits, animals, and companion scenarios in order to spread the amusement, comfort and joy.
She uses classic black and white acrylic to create intimate slices-of-life. Zoomed-in views reveal the distinctive shapes of individuals while the empty spaces are charged by the silent dialogue of relationships.
In 2014 she reentered the art world as an independent artist after two decades working at the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana. There she held positions as preparator, registrar, and finally curator.
In rural Marshall, Illinois, near the spot where the Wabash River begins to divide the states of Illinois and Indiana, Lisa shares a home (and studio) with her husband, Boodle the cat, and the occasional uninvited critter. Sadly the original cat and dog models for her paintings have passed from old age.
Ms. Petrulis was nurtured in a family of musicians but was drawn to the visual arts.
She earned an MFA, emphasizing painting and sculpture, from Indiana State University in 1991,
and a BS, in theater, emphasizing costume design, in 1983, (also from ISU, in Terre Haute.)
Previously, Ms. Petrulis attended Washington University School of Fine Art, in St Louis, on a Fred Conway Scholarship. (There, she was introduced to multimedia which led her to theater.)
Much later she completed the collections care core program at Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, in Mt. Carroll, IL.
On occasion Petrulis leaves the crop fields and wooded creeks to venture into civilization.
In the community, Elizabeth Lisa Petrulis serves on the site selection committee of Art Spaces, Inc.-Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection, where she previously served on the Board of Directors. She is a member of Gaslight Art Colony, a local non profit, which hosts exhibitions and classes; and Arts Illiana, an arts agency in Terre Haute, IN.
Petrulis also gives artists talks,
and officiates juried art exhibitions.
Over the years she and her husband have homed several cats and dogs, all of whom have modeled for her paintings. The current studio muse and house guest (a little bit of a rascally diva) is Kitten Caboodle.
- 2020 – TBA, (with Sarah Petrulis and Beth Berolzheimer), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, fall semester 2020
- 2019 – small art 2019, Arts Illiana, Terre Haute, In,
(Artist Jan Kappes Juror)
Nov 1, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020
- 10th Anniversary Celebration, Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, Oct 19- Nov 9, 2019
- Member Show (celebrating Marshall’s bicentennial), Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, Sept 21- Oct 12, 2019
- Gaslight Art Colony Members Show, Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL,
March 16 – April 6, 2019
- 2018 – Small Art 2018, Arts Illiana Gallery, Terre Haute, IN (Bill Wolfe Juror), People’s Choice Award, November 2, 2018 – January 18, 2019
- Fruitridge Festival of the Arts, John Laska Memorial Gallery, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Terre Haute, IN, September 28- October 20, 2018
- Year of the Dog: Elizabeth Petrulis, Arts Illiana outreach gallery at Corporate Square, Terre Haute, IN, June 14 – December 13, 2018
- Gaslight Art Colony Members Exhibition, Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, March 17-April 14, 2018
- 2017- 4 artist show, (with Phil Dees, Cathleen Hogan and Fran Lattanzio) Community Gallery at the Clabber Girl Museum, Terre Haute, IN, November 1 – 28, 2017
- Gaslight Art Colony Members Exhibition, Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, September 16-October 14, 2017
- Self-Portraits: The Original Selfie, (Rachel Hellman Juror)
Arts Illiana Gallery, Terre Haute, IN, May 5 – July 21, 2017
- 2016 – Gaslight Art Colony Members Exhibition, Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, September 17-October 8, 2016
- International Exhibition on Animals in Art, (Jonathan Mayers Juror), Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine Library in collaboration with the LSU School of Art, Baton Rouge, LA, March 19 – April 18, 2016
- Small Art Exhibition, (group show), Arts Illiana Gallery, Terre Haute, IN, December 4, 2015-January 22, 2016
- 2015 – Spaces Between: paintings from the “Dog Studies” series by Elizabeth Lisa Petrulis,(solo show), Gaslight Art Colony, Marshall, IL, October 17- November 14, 2015
- Alliance of the Swope presents: Elizabeth Lisa Petrulis shares her experiences mixing beloved pets with art making. Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN, Friday at noon, March 20, 2015
- 2014 – Gaslight Art Colony Members Exhibition, Marshall, IL, September 20 – October 11, 2014
- Select works from Dog Studies were first seen in
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Spring Art Exhibition, (three solo artists),Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, January 20 – May 31, 2014.