Veronica Casares Lee

MarchApril2011_Cover 

 

VERONICA CASARES LEE

HSPVA graduate and New York-based artist creates “Women of Serenity” for local nonprofit

Those who walked into the ballroom of the Hilton Americas Houston Hotel on February 24 around noon could not have missed the beautiful clay sculptures of artist Veronica Casares Lee.

Her “Women of Serenity” pieces, created to help raise money for The Neighborhood Centers, Inc. adorned more than 50 tables at the nonprofit’s annual Heart of Gold Celebration Luncheon that day. Each of the statues was available for purchase — but only to the fast-acting attendees who rushed to claim them!

Lee, who lives and works in New York City as a full-time (and celebrated) artist, grew up in Houston. Her sister, Marisol Casares, works at Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Thus, the connection!

 

Lee creates about 200 pieces of art each year; each one avidly  collected by admirers from all over the world. 

When Lee was in middle school, her art teacher was impressed with her creativity and talent and encouraged her to apply to The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

 

 

The application requires prospective students to submit a portfolio of their work and completion of a series of exercises assigned during the audition at HSPVA.The exercises were not easy. They involved such things as: 

  • Drawing from imagination, memory and observation
  • Creating compositions by responding to word images, phrases or narratives
  • Creating compositions and designs by drawing and/or manipulating various materials within a frame of references

Lee was accepted, and she attended HSPVA for four full years, graduating in 1994.

“After I graduated from high school,” said Lee, “I worked and saved my money. A year later, I moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. to attend Pratt Institute’s School of Art and Design, where I had been offered a scholarship. 

“When I started my studies at the Pratt Institute, my primary interest was painting,” said Lee. “But, in my sophomore year, I became more interested in working with sculpting. By the time I graduated from Pratt, in 1999, I was creating more and more clay pieces.In 2000, she married another sculptor — Patrick Lee.

“My father-in-law pointed out to me that it was not common to see fine clay sculptures at art shows. He thought I could do well, financially, if I focused on that art form.

“Over time, I started exhibiting my work at the annual art and craft shows in New York City — like the show at Lincoln Center, the Holiday Fair at Grand Central Station and Crafts on Columbus. People liked my work and were buying it,” said Lee.

Lee and Patrick are now the parents of two boys: Sebastian, 11, and Joaquin, just two months.

Today, the couple owns their own studio. It is located in Haven Art, a large warehouse that houses a collection of studios in an open floor plan, inspiring open minds. It is situated in historic Port Washington, N.Y.

“I take my art more seriously since I’ve had the boys,” said Lee. “It’s hard to make a living as an artist. You have to have a certain discipline to be successful. You can’t wait for people to ‘discover’ you or your work; you have to market yourself.” 

Lee said, “I view clay as a three-dimensional canvas upon which I paint, carve and silkscreen. My work is a product of my formal fine arts education combined with strong elements of my Mexican heritage. The focus is on visual aesthetic and design. I don’t approach my work conceptually, which allows the process to be spontaneous and playful. I am blessed that my passion is my livelihood.” 

The Lees are currently in the process of building a large artist’s residence and studio near the pyramids in Michoacan, Mexico. Soon, they will be dividing their time between it and their home in New York. 

If you would like to view some of the Lees’ work, please visit www.monk-e.net.

Cover Story Archives

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Browse through our cover story archives below and learn more about the amazing women who have graced the covers of Houston Woman Magazine:

COVER GIRLS – 2015

COVER GIRLS – 2014
Juliet Stipeche
Rania Mankarious

COVER GIRLS – 2013
Maria Oden
D
r. Beena George
HER Awards 2013
Lemonde Day
Joan Ifland

COVER GIRLS – 2012
Dorothy Ables
Nancy Allen
Jolyn Brand
Faye Chin
Sallie Griffis Helms, Ph.D.
Mary Kegarise
Christine Miles
Hope Northrup, M.D.
Annise Parker
Charmaine Smith

COVER GIRLS – 2011
Kjersti Aagaard, M.D.
Ariela Alpert
Sidney Faust
Veronica Caseras Lee
Cora Sue Mach
Sabrina Martinez
Dr. Cheryl Peters
Penny Ann Reed
Linda Bell Robinson
Madison Robinson
Tiffany D. Thomas

COVER GIRLS – 2010
Nelda Luce Blair
Dianah Dulany
Gwen Emmett
Hashmat Effendi
Claire Hart-Palumbo
Elaine Johnson, R.N.
Beverly Kaufman
Kay King
Renu Khator
Victoria Noble
Barbara Schlattman
Crystal Washington

COVER GIRLS – 2009
Jennie M. Bennett
Barbara Brister
Jacqueline Baly Chaumette
Wendy Daboval
Jordon Folloder
Laurie M. Glaze
Roberta Harris
Elsie Huang
Mandy Kao
Patty Loden
Melody Meyer
Rebecca Roberts
Shay St. John
Rebecca Greene Udden
Carole Young

COVER GIRLS – 2008
Donna Benefield
Tracy Carmen-Jones
Jo Casady
Tracy Case
Saakshi Chowdhary
Suzan Deison
Mimi Dinh
Nicolette Hardwicke
Chris Hook
Lois Konnos
Suzanne Kupiec
Georgianna Nichols
Nancy Rutledge
Donna Sollenberger
Karen Taylor
Lisa Wang
Pamela Wright

COVER GIRLS – 2007
Sofia Adrogue
Amy Bernstein
Anita Carman
Carol Desenberg
Lee Ann Elvig
Katie Jacobs
Margo P. Geddie
Brenda Harris
Sandy Harris
Alecia Lawyer
Saundra McNeese
Maria Emee Nisnisan
Chris Noble
Lisa Whitaker
Carole Wills

COVER GIRLS – 2006
Mary Bossier-Bearden, R.N.
Debbie Clemens
Kristi Cullum, R.N.
Helen Currier. R.N.
Lynn Elsenhans
Sylvia Garcia
Mary Grace Gray
Charleta Guillory, M.D.
Renae Schumann, R.N.
Y. Ping Sun
Tammy Tran

COVER GIRLS – 2005
Patti Barnett
Mary Case
Dr. Gail Gross
Amy Hay
Patricia Mercer
Janet Rarick 
Priscilla Slade
Dayna Steele
Martha Wong

COVER GIRLS – 2004
Dorais Allais
Sarah Ferguson 
Harriet Hart 
Lisa Leal, M.D. 
Libi Lebel 
Vickie Milazzo
Marsha Murray
Annise Parker 
D'Lisa Simmons

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