Lee Marshall Gordon is the recipient of the Hemphill Foundation Grant for the NAA's 2016 Plan Your Own Art Adventure. Lee brings a unique perspective to the Newburyport Art Association, not only because he is a glassblower, but because he breaks the mold of what is expected.
We asked Lee a few questions about how and why he became and artist and while some were asked tongue in cheek, his answers did not disappoint. We thank him for participating in our art-centric Proust Questionnaire and for his great sense of humor.
1. What or who influenced you to be an artist?
My mom always encouraged my brother and I to be creative. She put us in music lessons, bought us drawing books, and let me where my overalls with one strap hanging down (thanks MTV for that influence). I don’t think there was ever a time I felt influenced to create art until I was older. In fact, I never really liked art as a kid. On a family trip to Europe, when I was sixteen, we went to the Louvre and I was incredibly bored. It wasn’t until years later when I started glassblowing that I spitefully enrolled in the art program in college because my mom didn’t want me to go to culinary school. I remember sitting in my art history classes, recognizing work that I had seen from the Louvre, and horrifyingly thinking back to that time wasted at the Museum. Long story short- Thanks for your support mom. I guess it all worked out.
2. Which living artist do you most admire?
I would have said the artist formerly known as Prince, but I’m just a few weeks too late. So I’ll say, Banksy. I’m not sure if Banksy is one person, or if Banksy is a girl or a guy, or if Banksy is multiple people, but Banksy pretty much sums up what I enjoy about art. Satirical and thought provoking images.
2. Which historical artist do you most admire?
Kandinsky, Pollock, Warhol, Hokusai and Christian Hosoi.
3. What do you consider your greatest achievement as an artist?
Anytime I’m finishing up a large piece and it breaks cleanly off the punty rod and makes it in to the annealer; that’s always a good feeling. Thank you Jeff Mentuck for loading my pieces and sticking your head into the annealer so many times for me.
4. If you could change one thing about your art what would it be?
I think most artists would say the same thing, but my art is always changing. I have a lot to learn in glass, so the idea of always exploring the medium and seeing what different things I can create is always on my mind. I have several glass artists I look up to and have used their techniques for influence in my own way.
5. What is your most treasured possession for making art?
A bacon, egg, and cheese, on an everything bagel. I can’t create on an empty stomach.
6. What is your favorite journey?
Life’s a journey and it’s best to get lost. Don’t Stop Believing.
7. If you were to die and could choose a person or thing to come back as what would it be?
Bruce Lee. Hands down. He might even have been a superhuman.
8. What’s your motto?
All good. Never Better.
The Hempill Foundation Grant will be presented to Lee at a reception held Sunday, July 17 in the Hill's Gallery. Other participants in this contest will be showing their work in a special show Art Adventure Exhibition from July 12 to 24.
Gallery Hours: Tu-Sa 11-5 Su 1-5
Stop by, say hello to Lee, and share your art heroes.