Art knows no limits — UI student and performance artist Lindsay Mammone completes first MFA program


Pursuing two master degrees simultaneously demands balance in student life for University of Idaho graduate student Lindsay Mammone.

Mammone, while pursuing an MFA in Studio Art and Theatre Directing, is no stranger to hard work and meeting deadlines, she said.

“Performance art is everything that the body encompasses, not only the physical: the fingernails, the skin, the hair, the muscles, the bones,” Mammone said. “It’s all those emotional experiences — everything that makes a human being so wonderful.”

Double-MFA student Lindsay Mammone has several pieces on display at the Prichard Art Gallery Friday.

Mammone said she owes her artistic passion to her grandfather, Bill Trindle, who taught her how to draw after he took art classes in his retirement community.

“I fell in love with art while drawing next to him,” Mammone said. “I found my space with his assistance, and that was beautiful.”

Mammone said she always enjoyed the process of creating art in various mediums. She said she knew she appreciated the process even while studying painting and printing as an undergraduate at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

“When you are in a performance piece you are 100 percent vulnerable,” she said. “You are 100 percent you.”

Mammone said she has always stuck true to exploring possibilities. She said she was changed as an artist after experimenting with creating unique monotypes, or individualized prints with different processes of dying, collaging, drawing and sewing.

“For a while, I said I kind of stumbled into performance, but really I think I sought it out because it scared me,” she said.

Mammone said the UI MFA program encouraged her to do a performance program.

Three years later and months shy of completing her MFA in Studio Art, Mammone has her art thesis on display until May 26 in the Prichard Art Gallery. She said her piece used the body as a medium and addressed society’s projection of gender roles that constrict women to a linear life path.

“That was really the first time I was performing publicly, not just for the department, with my art. It was nerve-wracking but as soon as the performance started, I said to myself ‘This was the exact, right decision for me,’” she said.

Mammone said she worked with eight women in the piece with easily smearable makeup in the performance to represent how she found her own voice in a society.

“It’s really been a lifelong journey of finding my own voice, and I really wanted to provide a visual narrative of what that looked like,” Mammone said.

Mammone said the performers’ makeup smearing provided a visual narrative that represents the shedding of the social conditioning women undergo as their lives are mapped out to fit social expectations.

Mammone said she hopes her work makes viewers hold themselves accountable for the times they have silenced women in their own lives.

Viewers set limits for art, Mammone said. She said performance art has made her think critically about these limits she sets, and believes art is open, limitless and full of possibility.

As an artist, Mammone said it is her duty to choose a concept to discuss and find the best medium to communicate that. She said growing up in southern New Jersey exposed her to contemporary work from a young age, as she frequently visited the renowned Philadelphia Art Museum.

Mammone said she plans to study in Moscow, Russia over the summer. She will study at the Moscow Art Theatre to better understand her body’s ability as she undergoes an intense month-long theater program.

“I could walk out the door and create a performance piece walking to my next destination,” Mammone said. “That’s the beauty of performance. It’s art because of the context.”

Kyle Pfannenstiel can be reached at or on Twitter @pfannyyy

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