Jes Lee

A decade

Starting a new decade is always exciting. 

Looking back to see where you've been over the past 10 years is pretty amazing.

This decade started with me in my second year as a post-secondary student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, spending what would be my senior year of high school coming pretty close to finishing my two-year college degree. 

I was working the only other pay-check job I have had (besides waitressing at my parent's restaurant) as a TA in the darkroom at ARCC, cementing my future as a photographer, and most of all, an artist.

I started doing kid and family portraits (my first portrait job was of one of my little cousins!) which would eventually become a pretty awesome job for me, one that I love doing, and one that has taught me so many things about families, adoption, and that work can be fun!

The following 10 years saw many life-changing events,

I had already met John, but we went on our second date on New Years Day night in 2000…to the Rocky Horror Picture Show,

started in the Bachelor's of Fine Arts program at the University of Minnesota,

said goodbye to my granny,

got engaged,

had an impromptu small wedding ceremony when John's Army Reserve unit was put on alert to go to Iraq,

watched John be a soldier and leave,

completed my final art-student project and graduated with my 4 year degree,

bought our cozy two-bedroom condo, 

started volunteering at Banfill,

celebrated John coming home,

had the wedding ceremony we wanted,

took a honeymoon to Iceland,

got accepted as the Artist-in-Residence in Banfill and completed the Waiting Ribbons series,

participated in other art shows and festivals including showings at Dunn Brothers Coffee, Hopkins Center for the Arts, and a show with the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota,

said good bye to my grandpa,

expanded to not only working in photography, but also wood block carving, letter press printing, book arts, paper making, and pottery (thanks to my dad!),

volunteering at Minnesota Center for Book Arts,

many road trips to Duluth and a long road trip to Montana with John leading to many many photos, 

a wonderful trip to Japan

and now working on the artwork for a solo show at Bloomington Art Center.

Looking back, I see now how things have lead me to where I am now, and I feel like I am on the right path. I am blessed with a wonderful family, and so many great friends. I couldn't ask for anything more. 

There is only one resolution I am making as I head on to a new year and a new decade: to photograph this decade and enjoy it even more than the last.