Inquiry's micro residencies put artists and scientists into conversation, sparking cross-disciplinary collaborations that explore our human curiosities.
Kacie Lees x FRIB
What do neon signs and nuclear physics have in common?
Over the past month, interdisciplinary artist Kacie Lees has been meeting with nuclear physicists from the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. FRIB is on a mission to explore new and unexplored regions of the nuclear chart; chasing deeper understanding of the universe and the nuclear structures that compose all of life. During her residency with Inquiry, Kacie will explore the commonalities between neon as an artform and the processes and curiosities of nuclear physicists.
Kacie Lees (b. 1986, St. Louis, Missouri) is an interdisciplinary artist based out of New York and a professor of Neon at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her constellatory practice blurs studio experimentation and instructional design through printmaking, illuminated line, and video. Lees studies polychromatic smears (i.e. holograms, oil slicks, rainbows, aurora) and the poetic power of optics to gain immersive insight into the dynamics of working with light as a tactile medium.
Lees graduated from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor's Degree in 2008 and received her Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2012. She has shown her diverse work in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally including the Museum of Neon Art, CA (2017), The Loveland Museum, CO (2019), the Koehnline Museum of Art, IL (2008), Studio Kura, Japan (2020), Fondazione Palmieri, Renaissance Church of Saint Sebastian, Italy (2021), and participated in numerous residency programs including the prestigious Light Artist Residency at The Center for Holographic Arts, NY (2017). Splitting her time between Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Lees teaches experimental classes in neon techniques across the United States.