Bio – Lena B Ellis-Boatman

Hi, I’m Lena. I’m a printmaker, visual artist, art educator, and creative writer. Rhizome Studio is my business adventure as an artist. I teach art courses as a part-time assistant professor (fixed term) at Michigan State University, and I work for a nonprofit publishing company in Lansing, Michigan. You can follow my creative adventures at my blog, and you can follow Rhizome Studio on Facebook.

My craft and design work includes cloth patches and other saleable crafts, while my artwork is centered in printmaking and installation. Starting from this print media foundation, I also incorporate fibers, sculpture, drawing, sound, artist’s books, video, photography, and mixed media.

Check out my Artist Statement.

I come from the Midwest, and it shows – in my artwork and in my worldview. I grew up in green, humid summers near the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio, transfixed by trumpet vines and morning glories – and marching with my dad’s union in the Labor Day parade.

I was home educated from birth to 12th grade and mainly self-educated during my teen years. In college I studied printmaking, painting, and art education. I moved from northwest Ohio to Michigan after graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2008. In 2014 I completed my Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from Michigan State University.

I now live in mid-Michigan, in a town bordered by meadows, fields, hilly forests, and small lakes. For me, being in nature is restorative and energizing – and inspiring. I run, swim, travel, kayak, do yoga, and sometimes even scuba dive. I keep my sketchbook and camera on hand in the kayak to document plants and exposed roots where the earth meets the water. I am fascinated with the natural world, and that informs my work as an artist.

When I’m not outdoors, working, or teaching, I’m plotting and planning for Rhizome Studio. I write fiction in every snatched and borrowed moment in between.