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 Candice Raquel Lee  (1972 - )

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Lived/Active: Ontario/New York / Canada      Known for: figurative bronze and stone sculpture

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Ad Code: 4
Candice Raquel Lee
Lilith's Flight
Photo provided by artist
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following biography is submitted January 2007, by the artist, a figurative sculptor who works in wood and bronze:

Candice Raquel Lee still remembers the first time she smelled real modeling clay.  She was attending first grade in her native Brooklyn, NY and a local artist who had been invited to visit the class handed each student a bit of clay to work with.  The moment she handled it and breathed its earthy smell, she felt it was something natural and familiar, like something from another life.  Then and there at the age of six, Lee’s love affair with the medium of sculpture began. 

During Lee’s childhood, her mother indulged  her urge to sculpt with a set of rudimentary pottery tools, a four-pound bag of red non-firing clay each year, and some excellent anatomy books, hoping that a familiarity with the human form would catalyze a desire for a medical career.  In her teen years, Lee continued to teach herself, refining her art and developing her skill, secretly sculpting figures in clay that were small enough to hide from her mother who urged her ever more insistently away from art and toward science.  However, as Lee suffered from chronic asthma and hypoglycemia that nearly took her life on several occasions, her mind turned inward away from the physical world to the realms of the imagination, which only fueled her art. 

Lee regained her health and completed a BFA in English, eventually undertaking a teaching career, but still longed to invest more time in her art.   After marrying and emigrating to rural Ontario, Canada, she found the nurturing creative environment to pursue her career as a self-taught professional sculptor.  She designed a studio and produced twenty sculptures in her first year, during which time she received a dozen shows including public group shows at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, the Canadian Sculpture Centre, the Varley Art Gallery, and the Toronto Art Expo, as well a solo show at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts; articles and notices about her sculpture were featured in twelve publications in Ontario and New York.

Candice Raquel Lee’s philosophy is an important element in her work, particularly her beliefs on the significance of myth in contemporary life, views expressed elsewhere by scholar Joseph Campbell and the work of the Mythic Imagination Institute. Lee’s sculptures re-imagine the timeless myths of her dual Eastern and Western heritage from a contemporary perspective, one that particularly revalues the female figures in these tales.  The feminist aspect of her work extends to the promotion of gender equality and balance as described particularly in the writings of Riane Eisler; this social imperative underpins  Lee’s frequent creation of male-female couples.  Ultimately, the notion of balance reflects Lee’s broader attitudes as a Zen Buddhist and pantheist. Within these systems, dualities of male and female, sacred and profane, abstraction and figuration do not exist and so are denied in her sculptural body of work.

Selected Exhibitions:
“Myth, Meaning, Movement: The Sculpture of Candice Raquel Lee,” Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Cambridge, ON,  July- August, 2007 (solo)
“Artists Without Borders,” Varley Art Gallery, Unionville, ON, January – May, 2007 (group).
“2006 Juried Art Exhibition,” Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford, ON, October – December, 2006 (group).
“8th Annual Juried Emerging Sculptors Exhibition,” Canadian Sculpture Centre/Sculptors Society of Canada, Toronto, ON, July – August, 2006 (group).

Memberships: National Sculpture Society

Periodicals where referenced:
 “Associate News.” National Sculpture Society News Bulletin [New York, NY]. September-October, 2006: 10.
Ring, Rebecca. “Local artist featured at TO shows .” The New Tanner [Acton, ON].  August 24, 2006: 13, 17.
Lee, Christopher. “Nassagaweya artist brings bronze to T.O.” Halton Compass [Campbellville, ON]. August 17, 2006: 16.
Shuttleworth, Joanne. “Inspired by the gods.” The Record [Kitchener-Waterloo]. July 15, 2006: C1. 
Shuttleworth, Joanne. “Her sculpting career is shaping up.” The Guelph Mercury July 15, 2006: D1:D5.
Thiessen, Stephanie.   “Sculptor among eight picked for T.O. show.” The Canadian Champion [Milton, ON]. July 14, 2006: B1-B2. 
Ring, Rebecca. “’Emerging Rockwood sculptor.” The New Tanner [Acton, ON]. July 6, 2006.
CARFAC Dispatch. [Toronto, ON]. July/August 2006: online.
Ring, Rebecca. “Rockwood artist’s new show.” The New Tanner [Acton, ON]. June 22, 2006
Ring, Rebecca. “Rockwood sculptor’s work featured in Toronto show.” The New Tanner [Acton, ON].  June 1, 2006: 13.
Lee, Christopher.  “Bronze sculptor re-creates stories of mythology.”  The Independent & Free Press [Georgetown, ON].  May 11, 2006: 11.

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