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 then abstracting and deconstructing line and form, done within the clothing of her figures for example, becomes an effort to grapple with the formless, occasionally incoherent, navigation of daily life; revealing the unseen weight of motherhood, or the incalculable rhythm of marriage through layers of both indistinct mark making and defined representation.
"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.
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), BFA Painting, May 2011
Studio Art Center International (SACI), Florence, Italy, Fall 2009
2015 Street Art School, Youth With a Mission, Lyon, France
2012 Creative Paradox, Annapolis, MD
2018 Full Communion, Project 1628, Baltimore, MD
2015 Au Revoir, Creative Paradox, Annapolis, MD
2012 La Riqueza del Pueblo, The Temporary Gallery, Baltimore, MD
UPCOMING: <Under 500, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
2018 Variety Show, Christopher Schafer Clothier, Baltimore, MD
2018 Uniting Diverse Artists: Midtown Academy's 4th Annual Art Exhibit and Silent Auction, Midtown Academy, Baltimore, MD
2018 Connected. Tangled. Intimate. Delectable. Hancock Solar Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2016 Roots, Section 1 Project in collaboration with Buenos Aires Street Art, Baltimore, MD
2016 Upfest Street Art Festival, Bristol, England
2013 Jumbo Shrimp, IAM, New York, NY
2013 Appetizer, Creative Paradox, Annapolis, MD
2013 AIR '13 End of Year Show, Creative Paradox, Annapolis, MD
2012 WOMEN: An Exhibition, D Center @ MAP, Baltimore, MD
2012 The 12 x 12, Creative Paradox, Annapolis, MD
2011 MICA Senior Thesis Exhibition, Fox 2 Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2010 Identity, MICA Rosenberg Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2009 SACI Work Exhibition, Florence, Italy and Baltimore, MD
2018 - October Artist of the Month, Both Artist and Mother online blog
2018 - “Art, Motherhood, And Full Communion”, Bmore Art, interview by Katherine Mann (March)
2018 - Maker’s Magazine, Issue 5: HOME
2011 Puffin Foundation Grant