Jes Lee

Made Here launch and on to summer

The Made Here MN launch party was Wednesday night…and it was amazing!

I enjoyed meeting the other artists, catching up with a few I have known. We went on a walking tour of all the installation sites, ending with a lovely continuation of the party at the new Mayo Clinic Square. It was so much fun! I loved the chance to catch up with friends and fellow artists I have not seen in a while, meeting new, interesting people, and seeing a slice of the creative energy that exists in this city. I have said it before, but being a part of this installation project has been amazing and exciting for me!



photo taken by Shannon Hady!



Photo taken by a lovely tourist walking the bridge at the same time!


We parked on the other side of the river, and had a lovely walk back to our cars at the end of the evening. I love the view of our city, and especially our river at night.

Escapes, the site-specific image I made for my Made Here installation is now up in my Etsy shop in print form.

This was one of the last big events I have planned for this summer break from work. I have thought a lot about the directions my work is going in, and what is next. More musings about this in another blog post. I still have a lot to work out in my head…but the future is bright.


My images for Made Here are up!

It actually happened! My work for the Made Here MN installation is up! If you are near 10th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis, check out the old National Camera building (930 Hennepin Ave). My images are on the 10th Ave side of the building! There will be more installations going up very soon by some other amazing artists, so keep checking back.

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My images were printed by a local company called Color Space. They were so great to work with! I never print my images this large, and I almost always print everything myself. But I am so happy with how these prints turned out! I’m planning on having Color Space print more for me in the future. Maybe nothing quite this big though…I don’t find myself with four windows to fill up very often!

This truly has been an amazing spring with the opportunities I have been given.

The reception for Made Here is on June 3rd, from 6-9pm.

In between now and then is Art-a-Whirl! I hope a few of you will have a chance to find me there! I will have prints of all four of the images I have up in my Made Here exhibit, including this brand new one titled Escapes! This is truly the most site-specific piece I have made, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.


I will have my new Mississippi book at Art-a-Whirl as well, though I may not have enough copies completed to actually have it for sale. I will be doing a little demo of how I’m binding it throughout the weekend though, so stop by!

Hopefully, now that I am actually getting caught up on deadlines, I will get back into blogging a bit more as well!

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Made Here images off to the printers!

Because the images I will be displaying for Made Here are larger than I can print on my own, for one of the first times ever, I get to take my images to a printing service. The coordinators of Made Here worked it out for us to use a local company called Color Space Art and Imaging. I can’t wait to see the prints when they are done! This is the first time I will see my work printed that large.

My installation goes up May 10th. I will share photos here on my blog of how everything looks displayed in the windows. I’m quite excited to see it myself!

I did make one brand new image, specific for this installation. I have shared photographs that I took around the area, bits that would possibly go into the finished compilation. Well, my new piece is finished, but I am going to keep it a bit of a surprise for now!

You will be able to see it in the display windows next month. You can also come find me at FK Art Glass for Art-a-Whirl, and I will have a few prints of that image with me for sale, though they will be much smaller than the one displayed for Made Here!

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The last of the mind-numbing editing is done for my Made Here work. Next step is more test printing, and sending the images on their way to the printer. I’m excited to see how the prints turn out. This will be the largest I have ever had anything printed!


5 new boxes of pottery were priced, and packaged, ready for Craftstravaganza in a couple of weeks.

And I have already packed my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow’s early work day. I am celebrating every minor accomplishment this morning!

John has been amazing at getting the house ready for weekend guests. I don’t know what I would do without him! I managed to get just a little more laundry done. Somehow, everything around here that needs to happen, does.

I will make it to yoga today as well. Possibly, one of the kindest things I will do for myself today.

I hope you find something kind to do for yourself as well.


Everything worth prepping for

This weekend I have been in crazy-get-it-done mode. The contents of my studio are encroaching on our tv-room space, and there is a definite blanket-nest and butt-print where I have been parked on the couch with my laptop working for hours on end.

It was a good weekend! John and I did manage to get out for a walk last night, now that he is finally feeling better. But the rest of the time we sat together, watched movies, and I worked.

I am not only working on the images for Made Here. That is just the first of many deadlines! Saturday, May 9th, from 10am-5pm is Craftstravaganza! Dad and Kiddo Pottery will have a booth there, with many new glaze colors and pretty new things you can use in your home. I have helped my dad as much as I can with creating and glazing, and soon to be pricing and wrapping up new things.

May 15th, 16th, and 17th is Art-a-Whirl. I think this is my favorite weekend of the year, and I know I have mentioned it a million times already. I’m super lucky that the 15th happens to be my last day at work and that I can leave and head to Art-a-Whirl and begin my summer vacation. I plan to have new images created just for that weekend.

I’m sure there will be even more coming in June and July. Or maybe it will be quiet, with a few more calm days in there.

And just now as I am typing this, I received a text message from my uncle, that spring flowers will be popping up soon in this place he knows of, and I am invited to tag a long with my camera. One more thing worth prepping for…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to working on artwork for Made Here! This image might make the cut for my four window spaces. I haven’t quite decided yet…


10 minutes at a time

There are some technical details of what I am working on for Made Here that haven’t been exactly easy.

Such as how my film scanner is not playing super nice at letting me scan negatives in at a higher resolution than what I normally do. Specifically the black and white negatives, when scanned in on Grayscale mode. Scanned in on color negative mode, they work fine. I have not yet learned why.

10 minutes at a time, re-scanning the black and white images I took last weekend.

10 minutes at a time editing and color correcting, bringing them back to black and white.

10 minutes at a time with all the other things that have taken place over the last couple of days (including dropping a shampoo bottle on my toe…)

10 minutes at a time has worked out pretty well!

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Things I have learned

I had a chance to take a workshop with Wing Young Huie a few years back. To any fellow photographers that might be reading this, if you have a chance to do the same, take it. Do it. You won’t regret it. I could gush about him for awhile. One piece of wisdom he told us is to give yourself time when photographing a place. Stay longer than 1/2 and hour. Stay longer than an hour. Stay two hours. Or three. But be there, be present, and give yourself time. You will like the images you get more, the longer you are there, because you are seeing past the surface of the place, and into the details. When life gets busy, and I feel like I am just “squeezing” in time for my artwork, it is hard to feel I have the luxury of time. But I often think back to that workshop, and somehow make time. I did that on Sunday when I was photographing. I stayed out there, walking around, taking photos. I stayed out for over 2 hours, I think…really, I lost track of time. But I stayed. And I got images I really like. And I will make something cool out of them.

bricks small buildings small red doors small wood and wires small

I currently work at a community college, as most of you probably already know. I am often surprised at what I learn at work, not just from the department faculty, but from the students as well. One student, whom happens to be wise beyond his years, said to me to not think about more time than you can handle. He said there was a time in his life that he was working on just making things work in 5 minute increments. He then proudly stated that currently, he is up to about a week at a time. And he is right. Currently, I think I am at 10 minute increments. Maybe tomorrow will be longer, maybe shorter. But I can handle 10 minutes, and that’s pretty good right now.



Not all here yet

With all the projects I am working on, and the applications that are due very soon, I can honestly say that most of the time I have no clue what is going on in the rest of the world. I only have my to-do lists of projects, and that is honestly about all I can keep track of. I’m grateful for the other people in my life that often help me keep track of where I’m going, and where I am supposed to be!

On top of the Made Here project, I am also working on getting artwork ready for Art-a-Whirl, which also includes finishing more of the edition of my little book. For that I have mostly been focusing on creating the instant photos for the covers, and other very mechanical things such as trimming pages and cutting strips to weave pages together. Perhaps this will become an Art-a-Whirl demo? “Come watch Jes put together her crazy book!”

I am working on scanning in and editing negatives from my little photo shoot on Sunday. These will go into a new piece created just for the Made Here exhibit. I will post a few of those photos soon!

In the mean time, here are a few photos of the ongoing journal projects I am working on. These have been really helping me to focus and clear my head a bit! None of the poetry or journaling is especially fantastic, but it is keeping me sane for now!

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