Liz Rackl has worked as a commercial artist for over 30 years both as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer in Minneapolis, MN. She has illustrated a number of books including one by local artist John Salls entitled, “First Year.” In 2007 she left the Twin Cities area, moving to west central Minnesota and settling on a rural Ortonville farm site with her husband, son and two golden retrievers. Their primary goal: to hunt and fish as much as possible. During the off hunting/fishing seasons, there was time for artwork. The country, wildlife and her gardens serve as inspiration for much of her current work.
Until recently her personal work consisted primarily of paintings both watercolor and acrylic and some whimsical pastel work. Liz was a founding artist in the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, (“The Meander.”) exhibiting her paintings in Madison, MN. Liz has had individual and group shows in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Ortonville Galleries; She has also donated her time and artistic efforts to support local community beautification projects, to create artistic projects with students at the local high school and to support fundraising efforts in a variety of nonprofit organizations.
Liz is actively involved with the Big Stone Arts Council (BSAC), having served as a Director for five years and two years as President. In 2010 Liz assumed the house artist position for Rausch Brothers Granite Company in Big Stone City, SD. This opportunity exposed her to a whole new world of creative expression, using granite as a canvas! Last year, in her quest to learn diamond etching, she was awarded a Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council Legacy Grant to travel to Elberton, GA and study with Anne Jensen. In this unique mentorship she not only learned diamond etching but also a unique process to colorize her artwork. Diamond etching is achieved by removing the polish from the surface of the granite using a diamond tipped rotary tool. The diamond bit is roughly the size of a sharpened pencil. Color is then applied to the not polished areas.
After studying with Anne, Liz debuted her new works of etched colorized granite in a group show featuring BSAC artists last summer in Terrace, MN at the Wheeler Gallery. The show was so well received that it was extended for six weeks. Her unusual artwork received much critical acclaim. Since then she has shared her work in a variety of venues and is very much looking forward to being back in the Meander while hunting and fishing is temporarily taking a back seat.