Lighting Artwork by MFA student John Spano '16
Art and Design News

Adjunct Professor Michael Lee received an Adolph & Esther Grant

Posted in: Announcements

Header image of adjunct Michael Lee from the Art and Design Department

The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation has been awarding grants to mature, creative visual artists since 1976. These awards are intended to recognize the talents of many individuals around the world who have dedicated long careers to making art and hopes to alleviate some of the financial burdens on those artists so they can devote more of their time and energies to their creative endeavors.

Each one of the 20 artists whose names and work appear in the link were awarded a cash grant of $25,00 this year. These individuals were selected from a group of 985 applications from 47 countries by a panel of five advisors who are themselves art professionals.

Michael Aaron Lee holds a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MFA from Hunter College, New York. He has exhibited extensively, most recently in “Confluence: Tradition in Contemporary Art”, which traveled to China and Scotland. He has been published in New York Magazine and Hyperallergic, among others. For over ten years, Lee co-curated the monthly “Artist Lecture Series.” In 2021 he began “Hudson Presents: Conversations with Contemporary Artists,” which is live-streamed by Hudson County Community College (HCCC). Lee is an adjunct professor of art at HCCC and Montclair State University, NJ. He was awarded residencies from the Cooper Union and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and is featured in the White Columns flat file program. His work will be the subject of two New York-area solo exhibitions in 2023.

“Borrowing patterns and pictorial forms from decorative art and craft traditions, my current work often resembles picture frames, badges or emblems—those things that memorialize, commemorate or signify a particular allegiance. Ancient human forms such as masks and altars mingle with poker cards and advertising imagery, Morse code, and classic American pop song lyrics. This intentional mash-up of culturally and chronologically diverse ingredients is composed in symmetrical or grid-like arrangements to echo traditional crafts like quilting but also to stress its status as information to be read—even if parsing definitive meaning remains elusive. My project is shaped by a desire to build a personal lexicon as well as an effort to understand how our public narratives and mythologies are shared through visual language.” – Michael Lee

He also just wrapped up this three person show in New York City. In September 2023, Michael will be doing an artist talk with Wes Sherman and Barc the Dog at Hudson County Community College. The talk is in conjunction with the solo show he has up at the school.Lastly, he also has a piece in a group show, TEXT, at Joyce Goldstein Gallery in Chatham, NY.

To find out more information about Michael and his work, please visit his website,