#LOCALartIS: Traute Ishida

Traute Ishida is a tour de force in the art world, producing a multitude of mediums over the past 60 years that have enlightened audiences and expressed her journey of ethereal creative romance. Ishida, who hails from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, started professionally painting in 1958, where she supported herself as colorist for a textile plant. However, her true love during that time was expressionistic painting.

In 1965, Ishida dabbled in fibers, rugs, and combined fibers paint, and in 1973, she settled down with acrylic and would paint with them until she moved to Pittsburgh in 1990. Unfortunately, shortly after her move, Ishida was rendered ill by an auto-immune disease which left her unable to paint. In 2010 she received a “live” liver transplant from her daughter, and after a long recovery, she stepped back into the art world, but this time she picked up a pencil instead of a paintbrush. Her weapon of choice since 2014, colored pencils.

Ishida’s work is simplistic and deliberate, gravitating towards a greater truth of innocence and aggressiveness. Some works pledge loyalty to angered enthusiasm, others posses a very intricate and sterile narrative in each movement, shining light through a colorfully muted palette.

Ishida has exhibited around the world, as well as taught, and is one of the most respected art personalities not only in Pittsburgh, but across the globe. Her fiery persona, no-quit spirit, and extreme creative versatility makes her truly one of the city’s living treasures.