"You have to use creative thinking, not just for artwork, but for business”
Liz Bucheit, a Lanesboro goldsmith, walks a delicate line as a historical preservationist and a contemporary artist inspired by her traditional influences. Bucheit exemplifies how art impacts and is impacted by culture.
She lives by the Gustav Mahler’s quote: “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” Bucheit says, “You have to pay homage, but it also has to be transformative in order to move the tradition forward.”
A goldsmith for over 30 years, — 20 of those years in Lanesboro — Bucheit has received extensive training in Ireland and Norway. Additionally, she has been trained perfectly in a variety of other cultural traditions including: Icelandic, Chinese, Japanese.
With Bucheit’s expertise, she is a sought-after specialist nationally, regionally, and locally. For example, she does conservation on a Scandinavian crown at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and also worked on a filigree-inspired, contemporary necklace for the 2016 “In the Moonlight” group show at Lanesboro Arts Gallery.
Each piece Bucheit creates influences the next one. For instance, Bucheit was working on a big feather design for a peacock eye series, when she realized how she can use this design to become increasingly bigger and more durable while remaining light-weight. It was this realization that provided the technique and idea for the “Night Flight” necklace in the “In the Moonlight” group show.
“I can afford to think larger because of my training and technique. I look at all of my experiences as a pallet,” adds Bucheit.
Conscious of the power of cultural influence, Liz clearly delineates between her historic and contemporary designs. She realizes that in order for the cultures that she respects and is trained in to flourish, the artwork must continue to be innovative. She works in institutions that all value honoring the past while also looking to the future because these institutions encourage life-long learning.
Even with all of Bucheit’s incredible cultural training, she says some of her hardest and best training was when she worked for retail jewelry stores. Here, she learned the business aspect of art-making.
“You have to use creative thinking, not just for artwork, but for business,” Bucheit says with passion.
Bucheit uses her business training to advocate for other artists. She says, “There is this idea that artists don’t need to get paid. We are a huge cultural influence that needs to be recognized as measurable on a monetary level as well.”
A former chair of the Lanesboro Arts (then Cornucopia Arts Center) board of directors, Liz Bucheit understands the significance of art and culture and uses her unique training and business mindset to help local artists and communities thrive. Here in Lanesboro, Liz Bucheit is an active resource for many artists and innovative arts projects, taking the idea of arts and culture as a tool for community development and making the idea a lifestyle and reality.