Lee Nowell-Wilson is a representational figurative artist, currently based in Baltimore, MD. She earned her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011, and now works as a freelance painter and muralist.
Through large scale drawings and installation, Lee Nowell-Wilson’s work explores weight, movement, identity and vulnerability within the wrestling interaction of human relationship, as she herself navigates different processes of life involving womanhood and motherhood. The highly realistic, technical and tightly drawn style of her figures conceptually investigates aspects of humanity masked behind the neatly tied, well packaged, and “perfect” self. The act of abstracting form and deconstructing line becomes an effort to grapple with the formless, occasionally incoherent, navigation of daily life. It is the dismantling of the masks of perfection and the revelation of Nowell-Wilson’s own humanity.
"There's something that clicks at a certain point in each drawing or painting when I start to take it seriously. Like a quiet adolescent that speaks their first line of wisdom and you raise your eyebrows and tilt your head a little like 'ok. I see you.' And you realize for the first time that they are a real human, coming into form, and have been all along. But before that point in each piece of work, I always need to just scribble on the surface for a bit. Play around; make marks that don't make sense. When it clicks though, I go hard."
Professionally, Lee has worked as a freelance artist and muralist since 2011. In 2012, she co-founded, Blue Lined Designs, a mural painting team based in Baltimore, MD, with a fellow MICA alumni. Her work has exhibited in Annapolis, Italy, New York, and France, and she recently had a solo show at Project 1628 in Baltimore in March of this year. Traveling with her husband, Nowell-Wilson has also completed urban art pieces in Norway, France, Northern Ireland and Chile. She participated in a year long residency in Annapolis, MD in 2012, and a 5 month urban arts residency in Lyon, France in 2015. She currently works and resides in Baltimore, MD with her husband and daughter.