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Emerging Artist Stencils Favorite Movies for Wunderkammer

Kasey Lee contributed a painting of Jack Nicholson to decorate the Wunderkammer building.

Photo credit: Bernadette Becker

Kasey Lee contributed a painting of Jack Nicholson to decorate the Wunderkammer building.
Written by: Communicator StaffOctober 28, 2015

Written by Bernadette Becker

Kasey Lee, a local movie projectionist, is getting used to her new title: “artist.”

Lee is preparing for her upcoming exhibit, “Cine-Pop,” at Wunderkammer Company as one of four art shows opening Oct. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m.  The other shows include “Cosmic Constructions of Reality,” “Bizarre Bazaar” and “Upcycle,” according to the Wunderkammer October E-Newsletter.

Mariah Wynn, a student at St. Francis University, will be featured with her photography in “Cosmic Constructions of Reality,” the other solo artist exhibition opening. “Bizarre Bazaar”  is a compilation of odd and outlandish art in the area. “Upcycle” will display mass produced items that have been altered to be something new.

Lee, who is preparing for her first solo exhibit, explained her journey into the art world as a “happy accident.”

Her methods are experimental, since she did not receive formal training. Rather, circumstance compelled her to begin creating.

It was the terrible winter about three years ago — being cooped up forced Lee to find ways to pass the time. She tried various media, such as bottle cap art (where caps are laid out to resemble an image and then lacquered in place), but time and cost led her into stenciling, which she came across on YouTube.

Lee said she was encouraged to pursue art by people around her, such as her personal friend and artist, Jared Tobias, or the founder of Wunderkammer Company, Dan Schwartz.

Her inspiration comes from Instagram, Andy Warhol, pop artists and graffiti artists. Her images are largely derived from frames of Lee’s favorite movies, particularly Wes Anderson’s films.

“I love the characters and usually they’re very ‘coming of age’ movies,” said Lee, referring to Anderson’s movies.

To make her images, Lee converts movie scenes into photos, projects the images onto heavy cardstock and slices out the stencil from it. Lee works in spray paint, watercolor, marker and acrylic.

One reason Lee enjoys stenciling is because it allows her to try different color schemes and approaches to her subject matter.  The vibrant color palettes used in Anderson’s movies are one of the aspects that drew her to recreate those moments.

She has sold art via her Instagram account. She said Instagram has created a digital art community for her to get ideas, techniques and sales.

In 2013, Wunderkammer Company opened in a colorfully painted building at 3402 Fairfield Ave., according to its website, WunderkammerCompany.com. The website states that its mission is “to revitalize communities through contemporary art.”

It has various initiatives to help energize and include its neighbors in the arts, Lee explained.

Lee hopes that her work will either remind the viewer of the specific scene and mood in the movie she’s referencing, or at least be technically appealing to those who aren’t familiar with the movies themselves.