Silvia Lizama was born in Havana, Cuba, and currently lives in Hollywood, Florida. She received her BFA degree from Barry University, where she is now Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, and her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Having exhibited locally since 1978, her hand-colored photographs have gained national and international attention and have been included in prestigious exhibitions and collections.
Major awards include the Southern Arts Federation/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Grant (1993) and the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists (1992 and 2015), among others.
In 1999 she completed a Miami Dade Art in Public Places commission for the Exhibition room of the Trailhead Arrival Facility at Deering Estate in Miami, Florida. For this project Ms. Lizama hand colored 12 panels of glass with sandblasted images of the flora and fauna of the Deering Estate. In November 2001, Ms. Lizama published a book of photographs entitled Cuba 1930 – 1958, Photographs of Dr. Roberto Machado. She restored and printed images from this collection for exhibition and publication.
She says of her work: “Our daily lives are full of stress, anxiety and pressure. There’s never enough time to do the things we must do, much less time to do the things we would
like to do. How often do we take a moment, to see what’s in front of us, to see what’s in the shadows; to see the special places. Sometimes I do take the time. Sometimes I push everything else away and just look. Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to have my camera with me.
I have been photographing my world for over 38 years. Throughout this time I have explored my immediate neighborhood and have also been able to travel to exotic places throughout Latin America and Europe capturing images with my camera along the way. I archivally print my images in the darkroom on traditional gelatin silver paper and then I apply photographic oils by hand. The carefully applied coloring adds to the imaginary quality and makes real the world I witness.”