Lee Tracy


Tracy is from the eastern seaboard and maintains a strong work ethic and environmental awareness from that influence. Tracy was born in Maine and raised outside of Boston in "Walden Pond" territory. Early visits to her grandmother's home in the middle of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) made an impression on her as a girl. First, seeing individual artists mysteriously dressed in black, and secondly, wandering through the open campus as a youth.

Photos taken by Steve Ewert every few years since 1992

After completing high school in Maine, Tracy experienced different schools of creative thought for nearly a decade (1980-1989) while concentrating on fine arts. Drawing from observation, painting, editorial illustration, mono-printing (School of the Museum of Fine Arts) were foremost in her education. Tracy attended The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, The Art Institute of Boston before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989. As a student Tracy's illustrations appeared in the Providence Journal, Harvard Medical Review, Psychology Today, Boston Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, Chicago Magazine, the Detroit Free Press, LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and other national publications. Of particular influence was Tracy's admiration of the inventive arrangement and personal charm of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Tracy's talents cover a plethora of mediums; painting, public art, installations, projects, books and writing, including explorations in performative, collaborative, and participatory work. The energy level is immense, prolific, as Tracy experiments, invents and reinvents works that react and interact. The connections within the bodies of work are not readily apparent, yet, the common thread can be found. The element of time winds through the palimpsest of memory found in her writing, the suggested quests in her paintings, or the worn materials altered by nature in her projects. Tracy's art is as much about her life as it is about the time in which we live.

Tracy has professionally instructed adult art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, guest taught at Columbia College, mentored children at the P.E.A.C.H club, and participated in workshops, panel topics, slide lectures and studio tours. She continues outreach through class visits to her studio, the SAIC Internship Program, and individual mentoring.

Her painting, public art and projects have been reviewed in Public Art Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New Art Examiner, TimeOut Chicago and The Chicago Reader to name a few. Tracy has appeared on WTTW's Artbeat and WBEZ'S Chicago Public Radio, 848 with Steve Edwards.

Ms. Tracy has traveled frequently to places such as Egypt, China, Mongolia, Europe, and Central America. She lives in Chicago with her woodworker husband while working on several long-term projects. Tracy exhibits publicly and is in numerous collections, including two full room installations, in progress, at US Equities.

Influences of an older generation cultivate strength and commitment by example and encouragement: Grandmother's Sylvia Godfrey Street and Doris Campbell, mother Kathleen Tracy, and mentors Diana Beliard and Diann DeWeese Smith.

Tracy has contributed and supported non-profit organizations commitmented to social improvement:

Aids Foundation of Chicago * Art for India, the Andu Illam home (Abode of love) * Artists for Humanity * Ashoka * Bandana Project * Barewalls, SAIC scholarship fund * Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center * Between Friends * The Bioneers * Bridge Magazine * The Brown Elephant * Cabrini Connection * The Chinese Fine Arts Society * Christian Industrial League * Circusteem * Connection Arts Chicago * Counterquo * Creatives for Kerry * Deborah's Place * Dolores Huerta Foudation * Evanston Northwestern, Susan Harris Fund * Girl360 * Gross Park Neighborhood Foundation * Halo Foundation * Heartland Alliance, Designs for Dignity * Hyde Park Art Center * Indestructible, ALS film by Ben Byer * Inspiration Cafe * Lincoln Park Conservatory * Living Room Cafe * Louise A. Weiss Memorial Hospital * Mary Meyer School * Merit School of Music * Oxbow * 99 Percent film * Occupy Love film *The P.E.A.C.H Club * Personal PAC Chicago * Perspectives Charter School * Ragdale Artist Residency * Rehabilitation Institute Chicago * Remains Theater * Rock for Kids * Rogers Park Garden Group * SGA Youth & Family Services * Solar Cookers International * Sustain Chicago, Family Farmers * Teen Living * The Land Connection * Three Arts Club * Union League Civic and Arts Foundation * Voices and Faces Project * Young Women's Leadership Charter School * World Bicycle Relief

2008 "Heating Up", Evanston Art Center, Evanston, Illinois: October
2006 "Positive to Negative", International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, Illinois: May-July
2005 "Natural Response" site specific installation at Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois: July
2005 "Art in the Garden" site specific installation at the lake front , Chicago Illinois: May-December 

U.S. Equities, Chicago, Illinois
Robert and Susan Wislow, Chicago, Illinois
ABG Investment Group, Inc. Chicago, Illinois
Bette Cerf Hill, Bruce Sagan, Chicago, Illinois
Edwin P. and Joan Tiffany, Boston, Massachusetts
Audrey Gale, Chicago, Illinois
Stephen Colbert and Evie Mcgee, New York, New York
Steven Burns and Kate Neisser, Chicago, Illinois
Larry and Sue Yellen, Chicago, Illinois
Diana Beliard, Chicago, Illinois
Valerie Hoffman, Santa Barbara, California
David Korslund, Amersterdam, Netherlands
Tiggy Hatfield, London, Great Britain

Lee Tracy