“I like to think of the frame around one of my paintings as a portal to a parallel universe. Through that portal, on the other side of the wall, intangible things like feelings, moods, and experiences take visible form. They materialize into space, shape, atmosphere and color.
People occupy that universe, that inner psychological world and remind us of its connection to our physical one. Meeting us at the portal, they interact, each in his or her particular way, with the space, with its boundaries, and with you. They want to communicate, to share something with you about what it means to be human.”
Born in California and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Lisa Kovvuri received her BFA degree in printmaking in 1991 from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She began to seriously pursue painting after moving to Sacramento, California in 1999 where she joined a figure painting group and began exhibiting her work in juried exhibitions and galleries in the area. In 2005 she and her family lived abroad for a year in India. After returning to the United States she settled in southeastern New Hampshire where she now lives with her husband and two sons.
Known for her portrait and figurative works, Kovvuri’s paintings are characterized by a direct painting approach that is carried through to a refined finish with sensitively considered detail. Skilled draftsmanship and a keen eye for subtlety have earned her a reputation for paintings imbued with a natural realism, reaching beneath the surface of appearances to expose the subtle poetry of an honest, unguarded human presence in her subjects.
A brief but formative intensive painting course at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, PA began Kovvuri’s professional training in painting. She went on to study the methods of the Boston School, first in still life workshops with Sam Vokey, then spent four and a half years painting portraits from life with Mary Minifie at Ingbretson Studios in Manchester, NH.
For inspiration, Kovvuri says she is drawn to painters of the past and present whose work shows a concern for a vivid sense of reality within a compelling visual idea or story. Jean-Leon Gerome, Ilya Repin, Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent and William-Adolphe Bouguereau are among her historical influences.
Kovvuri’s paintings have been exhibited nationwide. Her exhibitions include The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Oil Painters of America, Salon International, The Salmagundi Club (NY, NY) The Bosque Conservatory (Clifton, TX), The Hecksher Museum of Art (Huntington, NY), The Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA), The Academy of Art Gallery (San Francisco, CA), The Massachusetts State House, (Boston, MA), and the Whistler House Museum of Art (Lowell, MA).
Honors Kovvuri has received include: Select 50, The Portrait Society of America International Portrait Competition (2020); Finalist, The Portrait Society of America Members only Competition (2019); The Whistler Award, Whistler House Museum of Art Juried Members Exhibition (2019); Ridgewood Art Institute Award, The Salmagundi Club Open Exhibition (2019); Honorable mention, The Portrait Society of America Members Only Competition(2014); Second Place, Bold Brush Painting Competition(2014); Finalist, Bold Brush Painting Competition(2011); Second Place, California Arts League(2004); Finalist, Artists Magazine Art Competition(2003); Certificate of Recognition, Portrait Society of America International Portrait Competition(2003); Judges Choice Award, First Place and Best of Show, Northern California Arts, Inc. (2003,2002,2001); Judges Recognition Award, West Coast Society of Portrait Artists(2001). Her work has also been featured in the Portrait Society of America’s quarterly journal; The Art of The Portrait, Southwest Art Magazine, and American Art Collector Magazine
Kovvuri was a resident artist at the Whistler House Museum of Art from 2014 to 2019 where she also taught drawing, painting and printmaking classes in the museum’s Youth Summer Art Program. Working full time in her Southern New Hampshire studio, Kovvuri shows and sells her work in various venues through invitational/group shows and juried exhibitions both locally and nationally. Her professional affiliations include Oil Painters of America, The Portrait Society of America, The National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society, and American Women Artists.