JOHN KEMP LEE Yellow Gate 2018

Yellow Gate 2018
Copper, wood, steel
89" x 43" x 10"

JOHN KEMP LEE Jade Gate 2018

Jade Gate 2018
Brass, steel
100" x 47" x 9"

JOHN KEMP LEE Unspoken 2015

Unspoken 2015
Oak, steel, patina
24" x 14" x 11"

JOHN KEMP LEE So I Thought 2018

So I Thought 2018
Cherry, oak, steel, patina
22" x 15.5" x 10"


John Kemp Lee / sculpture


July 25 – August 25, 2018

The BigTown Projects Gallery features a summer schedule of exhibitions showcasing new work by gallery artists. Sunday openings begin at 4pm and include artist talks with Q&A.

Join us on Sunday, July 29, for the opening reception of WOUND UP WOUND, exhibition of recent sculpture by Artist, John Kemp Lee. Event to include artist talk and Q&A with Artist. Refreshments provided.

"John Kemp Lee received his creative training at Dartmouth College, The Maine College of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Art. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. He has shown work at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy, and is represented by the Kouros Gallery in Ridgefield, CT.

Lee has been part of the Dartmouth Studio Art Department since 1984, and teaches classes in Sculpture, Drawing, Printmaking, and Senior Seminar. Lee’s teaching philosophy is quite simple: to create is to be human, and to be human is to think and act creatively. The purpose is to learn to really see, while others are merely looking. When we create, we are asked to engage in wonder, to speculate, to observe, to play, and to communicate without the limits and divisiveness of the spoken word.

Working from direct observation of the internal and external landscapes (while maintaining the desire and obligation to mitigate, transform, personalize, and to inspire), creativity is an essential language common to all cultures.

Materiality, especially in the digital age, will always be emphasized. What is the nature of choice, (intellectual, emotional, physical, and formal) and how do our choices affect our ability to advance an idea, and to share our thoughts and emotions with others?

Ultimately, all creative endeavors ask, “who am I, and how do I fit in?” (from

"The things that I make have always been conceived of as spirit houses. Each structure is intended to hold, even for a moment, some particularly important thought or emotion, a sanctuary that reflects the immediate character and identity of those ideas and feelings contained within.

Venturing into my 60s, I took care of my 92-year-old father for the last two years of his life. I tried to feed his mind while I shaved his face, and I attempted to restore his dignity while I washed his body. In the end, he died a very good death, in his chair, in my living room, surrounded by people who loved him.

I believe only in impermanence, just as I believe that the largest of oak trees will some day become soil again. I do believe in the interactions between sentient beings, and those relationship between those beings and the world around them. Each object, every stone, every drop of rain, exist only, and best, in relationship to every other object in the world.

Everything I make is now intended to rot, or to rust, or to decompose back into nature. It is the only true way of life." - John Kemp Lee