About the artist

Catherine Lecce-Chong

Catherine Lecce-Chong

My Story

To be closer to my art, I want and need to use my tactile sense. Have you ever wanted to touch an artwork in a museum or gallery? My creations invite touch.

When I start a new work, I want to feel the loaded brush of one paint color and freely paint the entire canvas surface. No thinking, just feeling. I really enjoy the slight bounce of the canvas responding to the touch of the brush. At the finish of the painting, the original paint color is only left at the border and maybe a few details.

Art has been a sacred practice since early human history. In this global pandemic time, I needed this comfort, being isolated in my studio and in life. Even secular images can become sacred in the making. Certainly, I felt comforted as my studio started to populate with iconic beings. My images became simple, bold, iconic. My isolation became a practice in solitude, devotion and remembrance of hope for the world and me.

My 36” x 36” paintings use life size stencils, string, and acrylic paint lines to create the image. I research and read a lot when designing elements, choosing symbols or large words in the final image. I paint an entire image in many layers of paint, different mediums and collage. Braille meditations are also embedded in the paintings.

But then…. I use many layers of transparent white paint to cover the painting. Collectively they are called the “White Blindness Series” because of my eye pain in bright light. The series was born out of my necessity to accept my legal blindness after the contrast of my young adulthood when I was creating classical Western and Asian painting and calligraphy.

I use light in very special ways according to my needs to paint. For example, bright light for short time for details to dim light and flashlights and even candlelight to soothe my eyes. Let’s remember artists have worked without electricity for a long time.

Ultimately, everyone seeks safety, health and respect. I am doing the same through these paintings. I do them as an act of simplicity, contemplation and even devotion. May others find rest with these paintings.

Andrea, Guide Dog

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Watercolor veil
Watercolor veil
Watercolor veil
Watercolor veil

Biography

A Bay Area California based artist, Ms. Lecce-Chong creates tactile and collaged paintings or mixed media wall installations. She is working in various acrylic mediums on wood panels or heavy duty stretched canvases.

Presently, her work centers on iconography, isolation, devotion, and transparency. She researches her subjects before designing elements, choosing symbols or large words in the final image. Braille meditations may also be embedded in the paintings. Then she applies life size stencils, string, and acrylic paint lines. The final images use many glazes and textures that explore seeing, visual impairments and possible alternative ways to create art that people may touch and explore.

View/Download Catherine Lecce-Chong Artist Brochure (PDF)

View/Download Catherine Lecce-Chong Artist CV (PDF)

View/Download Catherine Lecce-Chong Artist Portfolio (PDF)

Work & Exhibits

My Work & Exhibits

The Art of Disability Culture, Sept. – Dec. 2021

Currently working out my studio in Oakmont. Although visually impaired, I continue to work with an emphasis on tactile art and the inclusion of populations with disabilities.

I continue teaching meditation at the Center for People with Disabilities in Boulder, Colorado and private national groups.

Open Studios

Solo exhibit at Friend’s Art Center of highly intricate collage and calligraphy paintings based on art history Asian and Western

Street Artist, Studio Photographer, Lab Technician

St. Mary’s Hospital – Psychiatric Tech and Nurse

Eugene Symphony

6 watercolor paintings to music for their Facebook Page, the Color of Sound

Space Gallery, group exhibit, Watercolors and Acrylic multi cultural patterns and calligraphy

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMCA) – 2 times group show. Large multi glazed watercolors (Veil Painting)
Artist Studio in The Lofts
Open Studios 3 times, juried shows
Solo exhibit at The Cafe, Watercolor and Acrylic multi cultural and calligraphy paintings.
Teach Waldorf primary and high school art and art history
Commission of large paintings for conference room of Boulder Associate Architects
Acrylic paintings of floor plans of ancient architecture and design

Institute for Contemporary Art, MFA graduate group exhibit of realistic drawings, abstract stone and wood sculptures

Hewitt Gallery of Art

Group Faculty Exhibit – Multi panel installation of realistic acrylic paintings

Group exhibit – Large realistic oil paintings based on Nepalese life

Solo exhibit – Abstract Mixed Media acrylic and fabric wall constructions based on Japanese Obi designs

Visiting lecturer in art department and a fine art studio mentor at Marymount Manhattan College

Jerry Winter Studio: commercial photo retouching and illustration

Teach English and make photography and collage books

Education

My Education

UC Berkeley Center for the Greater Good and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program – certified as an Insight Meditation teacher and Trauma informed Teacher

Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, California – Teacher Certificate in Waldorf education and teaching

University of Pennsylvania – MFA in sculpture

Studied in Japan and San Francisco – traditional Asian painting and calligraphy for total of 7 years. Also 4 years of Japanese, reading, speaking and writing. Also studied traditional screen painting and black ink paintings on paper and silk.

Marymount Manhattan College in New York City – BA with honors in Fine Arts

San Francisco City College – AA in Photography

San Francisco City College and St. Luke’s Hospital Nursing School – Nursing and Licensed Psychiatric Technician

Grateful to mentors who have furthered my education and professional growth –
Hallie Cohen, Yamanaka Sensei, Alok Hsu Kwang-Han, Mrs. Lou, Rev. Peter Chen, Nicholas Wilton, Miguel Mayher and the Lighthouse SF, Adaptive Technology, and Earl Baum Center teachers

Collectors

My Collectors

Illinois – Laura Conte

California – Mrs. Fannie Chong, Carol Chen, Belinda Zen, Barbara Sycip, Francesco Lecce-Chong and Chloe Tula

Colorado – Yani Ortega, Kris King, Mary Jungerman and Boulder Associates Architects

Pennsylvania – Jean Grey and Mark Batman, and Anonymous.

New York – Jean Rather and Anonymous

The Isolation Icons

White Blindness

Explore The Series

In Progress…

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

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Knives & Ships

San Francisco Bay Wisdom Log

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Words & Communication

Zen Calligraphy and Mark Making

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Long Ago…

Once Upon a Time

Explore The Series