On September 29, we launched Art.Write.Now.Pop-Up! to celebrate the start of the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Functioning as a flash residency for one Awards alumni, the pop-up took over the main display window of the flagship Scholastic Store. In one week, alum Timothy H. Lee created not only impressive works of art, but also an environment that mirrored his studio for all to observe.
Every day, curious passers-by looked on as Timothy’s surprisingly scientific process resulted in beautiful watercolor works adorned with intricate cutouts reminiscent of cell structures. Timothy, a Korean-born New York-raised artist, studied Neuroscience, Drawing and Biology when he attended Wesleyan University. After graduating with high honors, he decided to table his medical ambitions in favor of becoming a full-time studio artist. Perhaps the most intriguing part of his process to watch was the cutting of his vast network of diamond-shaped slices. Scholastic employees, tourists, locals, and even TV Host/Actor Nick Cannon, looked on, completely mesmerized by his hypnotic technique.
Though admittedly nervous about being on public display, Timothy got more and more comfortable with feeling like he was in a fishbowl. Tweeting on day one “Everyone is taking pictures of me and suddenly I’m shy” Timothy quickly grew used to the audience. After his New York Minute feature on Fox 5 News and a special shout-out from Nick Cannon, he found himself fielding autograph requests in the local coffee shop. He even ended a day with a note from an onlooker which read “YOU’RE CUTE (and also a great artist).”
Not only did Timothy create stunning work in the window, he also got to experiment with new techniques. Dozens of pairs of eyes adorned the space when he began, and we were able to see how his technique evolved as we observed the eyes he painted on his last day in the space. From networks of cutouts falling to the floor to the resulting diamond shapes, attached and arranged to create beautiful patterns and shadows, the growth of the work and Timothy’s technique were perhaps the most impressive aspects of the residency to observe.
Be sure to check out our Flickr album featuring photos of Timothy’s week in the Pop-Up! and come back next week to read a blog post from the artist himself!