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Lee M. McKeown - Artist Biography

artist-lee-mckeown-glass-sculpture-1.jpgLee M. McKeown's sculptural ceramics and stained glass pieces are striking pieces of contemporary American crafts. In 1989, Lee entered a new stage in her lifelong process of creation. Each step, from drawing and oil painting, to ceramic sculpture and pottery, gave her the tools to create in her newest medium - stained glass.

During tours of European cathedrals, Lee was fascinated with the intricate and extremely colorful stained glass windows and how the sun burst through creating patterns of color on the floor. In Monet's garden, the color and beauty of the flowers and landscape moved Lee again. While visiting Hawaii, she admired the large carved garden sculptures and rare tropical flowers. From these experiences, Lee sought a way to bring her own colors into the garden. She began to create original garden sculptures of stained glass.

lee-mckeown-globe-glass-sculpture.jpgIn her garden, the sun streamed through the six-foot stained glass abstract sculptures and primitive masks. She used colorful, specially selected glass to reflect, play, and dance with the natural light. Even in mid-winter, her designs brighted the garden like exotic glass flowers.


artist-bio-lee-m-mckeown.jpgLee found that the most difficult and intense portion of the creative process was working with the colors.

Coordinating the colors so they work together is a challenging process and sometimes takes hours to work through. I have found that subtle color changes can make dramatic differences in a piece.

In 1996, one of Lee's glass sculptures was selected as a ten-year anniversary gift from the City of Hayward, California, to their sister-city of Funabashi, Japan.

A former ceramics artist of fifteen years, Lee's organic clay sculptures were shown in galleries across the United States. The Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, has one of her pieces in their permanent collection.

lee-m-mckeown-carved-ceramics-sculpture.jpgLee attended Hunter College in New York and the New York School of Interior Decoration. She studied pottery at the Mendocino Art Center, Mills College Ceramic Guild, Holy Names College, and San Jose State University.

Lee was a long-time resident of Hayward, California, and actively supported the local arts. When not working with stained glass, Lee could be found tending to her garden. She passed away in May of 2015.

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