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DECEMBER 2016

BRAVO! Lance Raichert

Lance Raichert is a magician, or so it would seem based on the art he produces. One can only ask, “How does he do that!” His sculptures and drawings are magical. From his earliest memory he has been making art. He sold his first work, a drawing of General McArthur when he was eight years old, to a classmate for ten cents. The kid’s mom made him take the drawing back to Lance the next day so he could recover his money. In junior high Lance began taking Saturday classes at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. While there his work was entered in an adult show and it earned an honorable mention. From then on he was put in the adult classes at the Art Institute.

In Minneapolis Lance furthered his art education working with his artist father in his dad’s small graphic design agency and print shop. Lance had the opportunity to watch and learn from the art professionals who worked for his dad. While working in his father’s agency he graduated from high school and then entered the service. He achieved the rank of Sergeant E5 and was treated like a god. This rank allowed him a great deal of preferential treatment, such as, skipping to the front of any food line to name just one. When Lance came back to work for his father he said with a chuckle,  “It was going from god-like to peon!” He spent two years as a grunt sweeping floors, washing windows, watching professional artists work, and learning the tricks of the trade. In Lance’s view this is the best art education you can get. After working with his father for seven years, he went to Lakeside Ltd. as an assistant production art director. In 1976 he was recruited by a former colleague at Lakeside Ltd. to a position as art director for Skilcraft, a toy line for boys, at Western Publishing in Racine where he worked until the company moved.

He continued his graphic design career doing freelance work for Disney, Warner Brothers, Barbie and others. Check out beautiful examples of Lance’s current work at lanceraichert.com.

His work “sparkles” an idea from one piece into another and each new piece must be better than the last in Lance’s view. When asked what moves him to make art he said, “There is a Beast, there is a Beast inside! The Beast starts to talk to you, ‘Why don’t you draw a clown? No, he’s too happy, make him sad!’” According to Lance, now the ideas start to come. He does stream of consciousness writing. This communication with himself and the Beast, the writings, and effort he puts in eventually becomes the art. The beast doesn’t control the work, rather, it spurs on the artist. Becoming friends with the Beast was a challenge that grew into the joy of finding what’s inside the artist that needs to come out. And what is Lance’s greatest achievement thus far? He answered, “The one I’m working on right now!” 

Lance is a widower and the father of a grown son and a grown daughter. He has three grandsons, one granddaughter, and one great-granddaughter. Lance has no predictions for his future. He says that he has no idea what the future holds and he doesn’t care. He’s going to create. “Art is just a part of my life!” he said with passion, “Art is life and life is art, and the art life makes me happy.”