Lisa Tennant is a painter working with themes of urban landscape, botanical, figurative and occasionally abstract expressionism which are each interwoven in graphic shapes and angular perspective; textured with weathered and distressed surfaces, colors, and patterns found in nature.
Earning a BFA in graphics and painting at Eastern Michigan University, she worked as a graphic designer before returning for her MFA in watercolor painting winning a purchase award for her graduate work and held a chair position in the Michigan Water Color Society. She was a founding member of the EMU watercolor organization in tandem with starting a residual student watercolor art exhibition, which continued for 19 years after finishing her MFA.
Tennant practiced her art and professional graphic design for a number of years, eventually teaching digital design at the college level. During this time, her work became more focused, highly realistic, and detailed with close attention to the illusion of space, materials, and surface texture to the point that the works are first mistaken for photographs. Upon closer inspection the brush strokes and nature of the media become an abstraction.
Out of an interest for extreme perspective in urban landscape, a mid-century signage theme began to emerge. An interest in the disappearance of these pop culture structures, and their typography have led to a series to document the signage as they are with the addition of some subtle humor. A number of these signs no longer exist.
During Tennant's career she has won a number of awards for both her artwork and design including Best of Show in the Scarab Club 60th Watercolor Exhibition in Detroit and recently First Place for Watermedia in the 35th Annual Texas & Neighbors Regional Exhibition. Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. In addition to her fine art and graphic design, Tennant is an accomplished author and illustrator, publishing a children's picture book, Min Min and the Magic Garden, also produced as a cinematic short. She has melded all of her artistic interests over the years through the mediums she utilizes.
"To me, each medium hold it's own marks and way of communication. I tend to use each medium to play to it's strengths while utilizing it to express my ideas and discoveries. Light and shadow, surface texture, color, and composition are all important aspects of my art. With regards to nature, it is in the naturally occurring patterns. With regards to urban landscape, it is the graphic shapes against the sky and the influence people and time have had on a particular place. With regards to the figure, humanity is held in the expression of the eyes and body, something more than just a likeness, a window into the soul."
Water Media National Juried Exhibition, Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary gallery, Plano, TX. People's Choice Award
Signs of a Recent Past Solo Exhibition, Vivé Les Arts Theatre, Killeen, TX
2nd Primary Colors Online July Exhibition, Featured online through 2025, LightSpaceTime Gallery. 3rd Place Overall, 2nd Place in Painting, Honorable Mention in Painting. https://www.lightspacetime.art/primary-colors-art-exhibition-july-2020/
Society of Watercolor Artists 2020 International Exhibition, Atrium Gallery, Fort Worth Central Library, Fort Worth, TX (Exhibition pushed online). Juror’s Award
Texas & Neighbors 35th Regional Exhibition, Irving Arts Center, Irving, TX (Exhibition pushed online). First Place Award in Watercolor
2020 Contemporary Texas Group Exhibition, Part of Austin West Citywide Event (postponed indefinitely), Ao5 Gallery, Austin, TX
Signs of a Recent Past Solo Exhibition, Cultural Activities Center, Temple, TX
2019 Annual Art Competition, Cultural Activities Center, Temple, TX. 3rd Place Award Watercolor
First Thursdays June Exhibit—Architecture, Orlando Museum of Art. People's Choice Award
June Sanford Art Walk, Sanford Welcome Center, Sanford, FL
September Sanford Art Walk, Sanford Welcome Center, FL. Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards
August Sanford Art Walk, Sanford Welcome Center, FL.
Mel’s Bad Girls Club “Sensory Overload”, CityArts, Orlando, FL
May Sanford Art Walk, Sanford Welcome Center, FL. Best of Show Award
Small Works, CityArts, Orlando, FL
Michigan Water Color Society 59th Annual Exhibition, Studio 23, Bay City, MI. Selected for Travel. MWCS Founders Memorial Award
Michigan Water Color Society 57th Annual Exhibition, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Michigan Water Color Society 56th Annual Exhibition, Midland Art Center, Midland, MI. Selected for Travel through Feb. 2004
Winter Judged Show, Fort Meyers Beach Art Association, FL. Merit Award
Art Promenade Show and Sale by invitation, Terryberry Gallery, St. Cecilia Music Society, Grand Rapids, MI.
Harvest of Art, Charlotte County Art Guild, Punta Gorda, FL
Scarab Club 60th Annual Watercolor Exhibition, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI. Best of Show
Michigan Water Color Society 54th Annual Exhibition, Meadowbrook Art Gallery, Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Selected for Travel
Selected Works Solo Exhibition, Dillenbeck’s, Grand Rapids, MI
Michigan Water Color Society 53rd Annual Exhibition, Ambleside Galleries, Gross Point, MI
Chamber After Hours “An Evening at the Prado” Group Exhibition, Citizens National Bank, Ypsilanti, MI
Michigan Water Color Society 52nd Annual Exhibition, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI
Chamber After Hours “An Evening at the Guggenheim” Group Exhibition, Citizens National Bank, Ypsilanti, MI
Eastern Michigan University Faculty Exhibition, Ford Gallery, Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Ypsilanti, MI
EMU Fourth Bi-Annual Depot Town Center Artists Exhibition, 2-person show by invitation, sponsored by EMU Continuing Education, Ypsilanti, MI
Michigan All-Media Competition ‘96, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI
Out of Nothing Group Exhibition by invitation, Urban Park Gallery, Trapper’s Alley in Greektown, Detroit, MI
Solitary Places Solo Exhibition, Accessible Art Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Summer Festival, six artists by invitation of the festival committee, The Power Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“Our Town” Juried Exhibition and Sale, Birmingham, MI. Honorable Mention
Selected Works, Espresso Royal Cafe, Ann Arbor, MI
“Benign Neglect” selected works from MFA thesis exhibition, sponsored by the Washtenaw Council for the Arts, Travis Point Country Club, Ann Arbor, MI
The Artrain, by invitation, small window murals as part of “Romance of Transportation” traveling exhibition, Midwestern United States, through 1994
Artisphere National Exhibition, Artisphere Galleries, Naples, FL
Artisphere Fine Art Showcase Works by up-and-coming artists, Artisphere Galleries, Naples, FL
Places in the Heart, Art Center of Battle Creek, Battle Creek, MI
“Benign Neglect” MFA Thesis Exhibition, Ann Arbor Artist Cooperative Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI. Review of the exhibition in the Ann Arbor News
Eastern Michigan University Annual Graduate Candidates Exhibition, sponsored by the EMU Art Department, Ford Gallery, Ypsilanti, MI. Purchase Award
Palette & Brush Club Spring Exhibition, Birmingham/Bloomfield Art Association, Birmingham, MI. Guest Artist and Scholarship Award
Louisiana Watercolor Society 22nd Annual International Exhibition, World Trade Center, New Orleans, LA
Michigan Water Color Society 46th Annual Exhibition, Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson, MI, Selected for Travel
Eastern Michigan University Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Ford Gallery, EMU, Ypsilanti, MI.
MA/MFA Selected Works Show, Intermedia Gallery, EMU, Ypsilanti, MI.
Gifts of Art Program Solo Exhibition, Amphitheater Lobby Gallery, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI
Four Artists, Four Media exhibition, Ann Arbor Artist’s Cooperative Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI. Review of the exhibit in the Ann Arbor News
Women in Art; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge Campus, Farmington Hills, MI
EMU Student Watermedia Invitational Exhibition, EMU Eagle Crest Conference Center, Ypsilanti, MI
Roving Gallery Program, Ann Arbor Artists Cooperative, Ann Arbor, MI, through 1993
Three Dimensional and Relief Art Exhibition, Ann Arbor Artist’s Cooperative Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI. Review of the exhibit in the Ann Arbor News
Farrington-Keith National Juried Exhibition, Clara Kott Von Storch Gallery, Dexter, MI