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?
In early 2022, interdisciplinary artist Kacie Lees met 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 explored the commonalities between neon as an art form 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.
RAINBOW OF ISOTOPES
Rainbow of Isotopes, a work of neon art created during her residency with Inquiry Arts, will be on display during the 2023 World of Winter Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan January 6 - March 5.