Artist bio

Lyn Risling has been interested in art from an early age with influences from artists on both sides of her family.  Her mother and grandmother were both illustrators and painters.

Lyn's art is strongly connected to the cultures of her paternal grandfather and grandmother, of the Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa peoples of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California. As descendants of ceremonial and cultural leaders, family members on her father's side have long been involved in traditional tribal arts including basket weaving and ceremonial regalia as well as more contemporary art forms.

Lyn has participated in her Native culture for many years.  As an adult she began to create traditional regalia, such as her daughter’s ceremonial dress. She has been an active participant in the renewal of tribal ceremonies and traditions.  In the 1990’s Lyn and her partner, Julian Lang, initiated the return of the Karuk girls’ puberty ceremony that had been dormant for over 100 years. 

Lyn received a woman’s “One Eleven” chin tattoo several years ago, a tradition that had almost died out.   In talking about it she says, "I received my tattoo in honor of my female ancestors. I feel it is also a deep commitment and responsibility to my culture." 

Lyn received a national Community Spirit Award in 2004 from First Peoples Fund for her artwork and commitment to her Native culture and community. She had her first solo show in 2005 at the Carl Gorman Museum Gallery at the University of California at Davis.

Since then Lyn left a long full-time job at Humboldt State University, to dedicate more of her time to art, culture, and grandchildren.  She has been creating and showing her work mostly at local galleries in Humboldt County and in other parts of the state. 

Lyn has worked with Native youth, teaching culture through traditional and contemporary art forms.  She has been awarded grants to support her work with Native youth in creating mural panels of local Native culture.  She has also received support for other community art projects and her own work.

She received a BA in art from UC Davis and a teaching credential and Masters Degree from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California.

(© Lyn Risling 2012)                      Contact Artist: Click HERE