Emma Lyness

On Flowering Ground, Watercolor, acrylic, and oil pastel on canvas, 36.5″ x 24.5″ x 1.5″, 2021

Lupine, Watercolor, acrylic, and ink on canvas, 48.5″ x 36.5″ x 1.5″, 2020

Study of Entryway No. 1, Watercolor, gauche, ink, colored pencil, and graphite on paper, 16″ x 12″, 2021

‘Sank Into the Spring / Afternoon, My Body Held / By Flowering Ground’ Installation view
Apex, watercolor, acrylic, oil, and ink on canvas, 48.5″ x 36.5″ x 1.5″, 2021


Through The Entryway, Video Performance, Shot by Quentin Fortney, Original Music by Emma Lyness, 00:03:31, 2021

Emma Lyness

[BFA] Painting

My paintings and sculptures combine lyrical mark-making with playful color relationships I observe in the natural world. This visual mark-making is not unlike the way I work as musician, where I am inspired by dynamic melodies, notation, and soundscapes.

I’m also guided by the vibrance of make-believe worlds from my youth. As an adult, I contend with human impact on the environment in ways I couldn’t as a child. My work offers a celebration of nature’s potential.  Through performance, my sculptures become entryways into alternate natural dimensions.


Emma Lyness was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is graduating with a BFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in spring 2021. Her artwork explores color relationships through lyrical, biomorphic abstraction. She finds inspiration in the subtleties of natural organisms. Her solo exhibitions include ‘3 paintings’ at the MEDICI Gallery (2020) and ‘Recent Paintings’ at Sand Paro Studio (2019). Lyness has shown work in several group exhibitions including ’NOW’ at the Kiechel Fine Art Gallery (2020), ‘Art + Tech’ at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts (2019), and two juried exhibitions at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery (2021, 2020). Lyness was awarded the Elgas Project Grant (2020) and the Faulkner Memorial Award (2020) at the UNL ‘Undergraduate Juried Exhibition’.