Marie A. Lee
In the age of Internet connectivity and mass media, people are bombarded with messages and can easily slip into consuming them without sorting and digesting them. I am interested in involving my audience, stimulating them to break out of the passive mode of receiving information and not processing it.
My fine art work does not give answers but offers a place for questioning and for slowing down of the viewers' hurried lives. The pieces allow for active participation. A dialog occurs, a two-way relationship, a conversation, an exchange of ideas between the image and the viewer. The viewer's own experiences are interpreted into an individual understanding of the image. The image then derives its meaning from its onlooker and the circumstances it is viewed under. I believe that the thinking, feeling and meditation provoked by my pieces is essential in today's instant society that gives solutions and answers before one even gets a chance to ask questions.
I endeavor to make design that makes a difference in the world we live in. I am interested in community-based work where I not only design with a particular audience in mind but I closely involve a particular community and use design to solve their specific needs.
They in turn are no longer just clients waiting for a finished work that may or may not be what they need. They are part of the process from start to finish and contribute to the end product. This approach often leads into collaboration with professionals from other disciplines. I partner with them to create solutions that go beyond design and have a broader impact on the specific community.
In teaching, I strive not only to pass on the skills and knowledge that are part of my design heritage but also to impart my passion for design to my students. I wish to instill in them the sense of being privileged to communicate messages and an awareness of the responsibility it entails.
I do not believe in watering down design standards and substituting them with cheap computer gimmicks. Computers have become indispensable in our profession, but computer skills have to be supported by strong design principles.
I place emphasis on a concept behind a solution and teach students how to solve design problems. Individual voice and expression should work hand-in-hand with the purpose of the design solution. I strive to help my students find themselves, and their own voice, in their work.
Marie A. Lee
Department of Visual Arts
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