Lynda Frese is a visual artist based in south Louisiana since 1986. Originally from New England, she studied art on the west coast earning her BFA (1978) and MFA (1986) degrees from the University of California at Davis. In 1982 she received a SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Award and exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for her unique gelatin silver prints. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1985 and her work was subsequently included in a group exhibition of Skowhegan artists at Leo Castelli Gallery in NYC.
Lynda Frese is Professor Emerita at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she taught photography for 30 years; she received the Distinguished Professor Award in 2013 for her scholarship and teaching. In 2016, Ms. Frese received Artist of the Year from the Louisiana Cultural Awards for her sustained work celebrating the culture and history of the south. Her series Art & Shadows addresses historical narratives at Shadows-on-the-Teche, the antebellum home of a sugarcane planter family in New Iberia, La., and now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which supported a year-long residency at the site.
The artist maintains a studio in south Louisiana but frequent travels and other cultures inform her work. In Italy, Frese has been a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio and the Bogliasco Foundation in Liguria, and artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. She produced work for her book Pachamama: earth realm during three seasons at an arts colony in the rain forests of Costa Rica. The last seven consecutive years she has worked in rural Italy, at ArtStudio Ginestrelle in the mountains near Assisi, and RUC Rural Residency for Contemporary Art, in Lombardy, where she has been photographing the prehistoric rock engravings scattered in the forests of Valcamonica.
Frese’s art work has been exhibited in Europe, South America, and across the United States. Her work is found in many private and public collections. They include the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; the Manetti Shrem Museum, Davis, CA; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; and the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS.
The 2018 exhibition Lynda Frese: Holy Memories & Earthly Delights, at the Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, LA, surveyed 40 years of the artist’s work from early toned gelatin silver prints produced in California, to recent photo-collage and egg tempera works. An eponymous monograph with critical essays was published by UL Press. The exhibition Wild Trees: Photo Etchings and Paintings at the Teche Center for the Arts in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, opened earlier this year, but closed a week later due to the pandemic.