STUDIO VISIT: Lee Gainer

lee gainer STUDIO VISIT: Lee Gainer

In this ‘Studio Visit’ we got  a chance to visit artist Lee Gainer.

Lee Gainer was the only girl born at Stuart Circle Hospital on the day the Agnes Flood hit Richmond, Virginia in 1972. She grew up in the blue collar suburbs, winning numerous art awards including three National Cappy Dick contests. Lee attended Virginia Commonwealth University on scholarship and earned a BFA with honors in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Photography. After working in the state’s forensics photography lab, Lee moved to Orlando (because her car wouldn’t make it to San Francisco) and worked for the Walt Disney Company as a photographer. In 2001, she relocated to the Washington D.C area. After designing websites and managing the studio of an internationally acclaimed painter, she decided to concentrate on her own art career full-time beginning in 2007.

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Incredibly handy double monitor set up

Lee is presently a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including exhibits at Civilian Art Projects (DC), Pierro Gallery (NJ), Red Cake Gallery (CA), the Arlington Arts Center (VA), Slideluck Potshow (DC and IL), and a solo exhibit at GRACE in Reston, Virginia. Lee’s work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The American Prospect, Invisible City, The Exposure Project Book, and her own book, Two Month’s Salary. Her works are part of the collections of the Rosslyn Renaissance Business Improvement District, the Indie Photobook Library, and The Newark Public Library, Special Collections Division. Online, her work has been presented at DailyServing, Humble Arts Foundation, Murmur DC, The Truth of Beauty, Today and Tomorrow, i like this art, Beautiful Decay, and DesignBoom. She is a recipient of the Creative Communities Fund Grant for her work with the 2011 Source Festival. Lee also curates a blog, Peek (www.leegainer.blogspot.com), which has presented a new contemporary artist each weekday since February 2008.

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Lee’s studio on a rainy day

Artist statement:

“I create wovens, works that are produced by physically weaving together two photographic prints created digitally from conventional found images. I use this process to explore the socially enforced perceptions, traditions, and expectations in modern life. I am interested in how our individual decision making processes are influenced to select and accept specific assessments over others according to or regardless of tradition, history, upbringing, personal belief, and prior experiences. By juxtaposing familiar images, I can create a comfort zone in which the viewer can deliberate on the concept presented without intimidation while simultaneously having the opportunity to appreciate something aesthetically unique.”

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Various studies for larger works

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Lee’s growing collection of “too dull to use but still sharp enough for self-defense” xacto blades in a jam jar.  She noted that the strawberry jam was delicious

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The inks that are used in Guido, Gainer’s printer

Studio info:

“I am a resident at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia where I work full-time as an artist.  We’re located just outside of DC.  Their site is at www.arlingtonartscenter.org.  I recently began a slightly different process with my work where I am cutting and weaving my photographs together to form these very new images.  They become abstracted and create these great little sections of color, shadows and shape.  I am really enjoying the new process and hope folks enjoy the new work.”


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