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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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On the field and on canvas: a look at Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke’s artistic side

On the field and on canvas: a look at Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Lukes artistic side


During spring break this last year, Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke took a much-needed trip back to her hometown of Newport Beach, Calif. to take a break from the challenging life of a student athlete. In her time visiting home, Luke was able to share moments with family and friends, and visit all of her favorite local hot spots.

But there was one instance, in particular, that really resonates with Luke. The keeper was walking on the shore of Huntington Beach as the sun set on the horizon. Sand filling her toes with each passing step, Luke took the time to stop and appreciate the beauty, and rareness, of that specific moment in time.

With the waves crashing in and the sunlight reflecting off of the water, she stopped to see the colors. She stopped to see them blending together. She stopped to see the art that was forming right in front of her eyes. Hoping to remember that moment, Luke snapped a picture, and saved it for later.

Most people here in the Beehive State are accustomed to Luke stopping and saving just soccer balls, but what many don’t know is that the keeper has an artistic side that could very well end up being her future — and she can thank her father, Fred, for that.


According to Lindsey, her father is a businessman, and you would never be able to guess that he is interested in the art world. Lindsey claims that Fred is a “closet artist,” but he never wanted to force anything onto Lindsey. Instead, he decided to give her options.

His strategy wasn’t complex. He told Lindsey, and her sister Alison, that they were to sign up for eight activities, and each year they could drop one. Fred was not trying to be hard on his daughters, but rather wanted them to find something they would enjoy for a long time.

“I told them that I was going to keep them busy. Golf lessons, swim team, gymnastics, soccer, softball,” Fred listed off as some of the things they tried. “I’ve always told them that I want to see them find something they love to do because that way, they’ll never have to work.”

Whether it was something that was passed down from father to daughter or if it was just a strange coincidence, one of the things that Lindsey seemed to pick up, and thoroughly enjoy (other than soccer) was art.

It was no surprise that Lindsey clung onto art, though, because it’s in her blood. In addition to her father exposing her to art at an early age, her grandmother, interestingly enough on her father’s side, was also an artist, and majored in art at the University of Arizona. A number of her grandmother’s pieces were hanging in her childhood home, but one in particular always stuck out.

“There’s a painting that she had done, and it was on old newspaper,” Lindsey said. “I want to say she used acrylic paint — I could be wrong — but it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”

To try and carry on the family tradition, Lindsey and her friends would take art classes at a place called Mission Renaissance, an institution that offers fine arts classes to people of all ages. In these classes, they would learn the basics of art, starting with pastels and eventually moving on to some of the harder courses, such as watercolors and oil painting. At first, taking the art classes was a good way for her to hang out with her friends and stay out of the house a little bit longer, but it turned into much more than that with time.

Lindsey started taking these classes when she was just about 10 years old, but did not fully engulf herself in her artistic side until after high school. Soccer was her thing during her prep career, and by the time senior year had rolled around, school was more of an afterthought to the keeper.

In order to counteract her senioritis, Lindsey forced herself to sign up for Art 4, a class offered at Corona Del Mar High School, hoping that she would become active again in terms of painting and drawing. Her love for art was rekindled at this time, yet still never provided her that burning desire that she got from playing soccer.

“It was fine, I think it was good that I could get back to drawing and painting and doing all these things,” Lindsey said. “But at the same time, I wasn’t really super passionate about it, as I was when I was younger.”

But then, life got in the way. After sitting at Wake Forest for a year out of high school, Lindsey decided that she needed a change of scenery and wanted to transfer from the ACC school. Obviously, she chose to come to the U, where many have come to know her strictly has Lindsey, The Goalkeeper, but there’s more to her than that.


Upon her arrival in Salt Lake City, Lindsey was convinced that she would major in painting and drawing. While that didn’t happen, the goalie decided that she still wanted art in her life and signed up for introductory classes. One class that stuck with her was First Year Studio 2-D, a pre-art major class with a professor named Tom Hoffman.

The professor helped Lindsey get back into painting and drawing, and even would occasionally come to some of her soccer games. Lindsey claims that Hoffman is one of her favorite professors on campus, and that if it wasn’t for him, she may have never gotten back into doing art. With the busy schedule of a student athlete, the 3-hour long class twice a week was all she got, and from there, it snowballed.

Even when the class was over, Lindsey attempted to keep up with her art the following summer. Just like any college student, however, she hit some bumps in the road. Facing some personal challenges that had a deeper effect on her than she would have liked, the keeper just could not bring herself to sit down and create anything.

On top of those hardships, Lindsey was also spending her summer in Utah, and as much as she loves being a Ute, there’s no place like home. She found herself spending time alone a lot that summer, and many urged her to pick up her brush and take it out on some canvas.

“People were always like, ‘why don’t you sit down and draw or paint?’” Lindsey said. “Most days, I was just like, ‘I can’t, I’m just so sad. I can’t sit down and do it.’ But then there were days that were like screw it, I’m doing it. Whatever happens, happens.”

Disappointments are inevitable in life, but it’s how you handle those disappointments that make a difference. For Lindsey, art was an outlet for her to go to, kind of like soccer, and if it wasn’t for these two things that she deeply loves, she may not be where she is today.

“I’m very grateful that I have both of these as options that I can always go to,” Lindsey said. “Sometimes I struggle with the initial starting, and the initial reaching out, but once I’m out on the soccer field or lifting or running or being with my teammates, or sitting down and painting, I honestly am not thinking about ANYTHING else. It’s so nice, it’s almost meditative.”

It’s a good thing she had that “screw-it” attitude to help her relax, because if not, some of the masterpieces she’s created would not be enjoyed by many the way they are.


You can see the pensive thought and creative mind of a talented late music artist in her portrait of Kurt Cobain. Every crazy lock and twist in The Weeknd’s hair is detailed to near-perfection in her drawing of the famous pop artist.

But what is her most impressive piece? Remember that picture she took on the shore of Huntington Beach over spring break? Well, Lindsey decided to draw and paint that exact sunset just by looking at the picture she took, and let’s just say it was a hit. After posting the finished piece on her official Twitter account, the feedback she received from her followers was nothing but supportive, but none bigger than from her father.

“She has a great eye,” Fred said. “Her eye for looking at something and being able to draw it, those pencil sketches, they were evident early on [in her life] … That’s not something you learn, that’s something you’re born with.”

Putting together a piece of art such as this would be difficult for anyone, even someone who is seasoned in the field, but once the wheels got turning for Lindsey, it was hard to stop.

“The sunset took two days, I thought it would take so much longer,” Lindsey said.

The reason why she finished in such a short amount of time was simple — she was in the zone. Better yet, she was in her own world.

“I literally spend three or four hours (painting), and it goes by so fast,” Lindsey said. “I’m not looking at my phone, nothing. I’m just sitting there and so focused, I have my Pandora on, some good tunes.”


For those thinking that soccer and art have no correlation, think again. Lindsey has been able to use some of the same qualities she uses in between the posts as she does painting.

“Obviously, I take training very seriously and I’m very disciplined about my training,” Lindsey said. “That kinda goes along with art in the same way. Art is obviously very detail-oriented and all about focus, so I would say that’s kind of how the two relate.”

Fred agrees, but for a different reason.

“She has tremendous hand-eye coordination, which is really the basic tool in both soccer and art,” he said. “Great reaction time.”

As for which she will do for a career after her college days are over, that is yet to be seen. According to her father, “if she doesn’t get drafted,” there’s a good chance that Lindsey can throw her hat into the art ring. It wouldn’t have been the first time they have tried that, either.

Before Lindsey made her way to the U, in between transferring, she and her father set up meetings with some names in the art industry to try and establish some connections. Additionally, they made an official Facebook page for her artwork, and even hung some of it up on a local shop’s wall. For the first time, Lindsey thought that just maybe she could do this for a living.

“I think that was the first time that I was really excited about potentially doing that, so it was cool to have that taste or that feeling like, oh, this would be really cool and I would really enjoy it. I got in here and my life took a different turn, so I didn’t pursue that, but it’s still there,” she said.

The dream is definitely still live and well. When asked how she would feel if she could be a full-time artist, Lindsey said, “Love to, I would love to, 100 percent. If I could make a living off being an artist, I could die happy. Honestly, they always say if you work in an area that you love, you’re never really working a day in your life, because you love it.”

Right now, Lindsey is gearing up for her final collegiate season as the keeper for the Utes, who are looking to build off of their 8-8-4 season in 2014-15. For another year, she will have to fit the time for art wherever she can in between practices, lifts and games.

Not many athletes like to fill their spare time during the season by sitting down in front of a blank canvas for hours at a time, but then again, Lindsey is not most athletes, and she’s okay with that.

“You get to a point when you realize that you’re different, or weird or whatever, and it kind of takes a while to embrace that,” Lindsey said. “You know what, I don’t care if you think I’m a huge weirdo. I like how I am, and this is how I am. It’s helped me connect with a lot of different people, which I really enjoy.”

Lindsey has made a connection with the entire Utah Athletics community, evident by them bringing her back for the second straight year for the Athlete vs. Athlete summer challenge against Brandon Taylor of the basketball team, whether it be by soccer or art.

She is undoubtedly leaving her mark on the women’s soccer program here at the U, and soon enough, she could be leaving it in the art industry, too.

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