As part of our Whittier Friends series, we visit emerging artist Lindsey Cherek Waller's studio in Red Wing, MN.
We're interviewing interesting people doing interesting things, and Lindsey has it in spades. We quickly got real about the many challenges she’s faced growing up in a working class household. Somehow, she’s transcended all these hurdles and now produces powerful art that is also shockingly light and lovely.
In life and work, she radiates queer joy
On a typical weekday afternoon, you can find Lindsey in her art studio at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. This is where we found her on a sunny Thursday afternoon, working on her latest still-lifes.
Lindsey is a talented young painter at the beginning of her career, finding inspiration in her everyday lived experiences. We took the time on that sunny Thursday to sit down with Lindsey and pick her brain. Walking into her studio, you are immediately struck with the curated, vibrant energy that she brings to life through color, texture, and the use of unconventional materials. Lindsey’s light-filled studio is bursting with happy, bright colors—her work truly radiates the joy she embodies in her day-to-day life.
“I am very loud about my queerness. So when a straight person looks at my work, I want it to exude the joy I feel everyday.”
"my paintings are loud because I had to be quiet for safety."
We talk about inspiration: the how and why she chooses her subjects. Lindsey’s upbringing and lived experiences play a major role in her art. The whole notion of growing up feeling different in a
small town is all too relatable. It is from the pain of growing up queer in a narrow-minded world that Lindsey draws her inspiration. Her paintings are brave and out there because she has since curated a safe space in which she can be super out.
“I feel like the quietness of growing up in a cis-heteronormative world was so painful. My paintings are loud because I had to be quiet for safety.”
Growing up in a working class family and being a first generation college student has also played a role in Lindsey’s art. Many times in her life, Lindsey has had to be uber creative in the materials she uses out of necessity. We ask how this impacts her work and has it brought a different energy to it.
“I’ve figured out different mediums to use that make them feel luscious and illuminate differently…I think that’s part of being an artist, being resourceful and creative.”
Even though Lindsey’s art screams joy, it comes from a very serious place. She is planting her stake in queer art history and taking the initiative to preserve and amplify the voices that have always been stifled.
“One of my goals as an artist is to make queer lives more visible…because our history has been disappearing from the public eye for centuries. My goal is to establish and archive that during my time here.”
We expect big things from this talented young artist and can’t wait to see what’s next.
Follow Lindsey’s work: @lindseycherekwaller
— By Montana Scheff
Are you an interesting person doing interesting things? Or does this describe someone you know? Message us! We'd love to hear from you. We are always looking for more people and more stories to inspire.