Lee Claremont is Mohawk and Irish and was born in Woodstock, Ontario on the territory of the Grand River Six Nations Ontario. Lee received her BFA (Honors) from the University of British Columbia and now resides in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in BC.
She is well known for her incredible use of colour and her very distinct and recognizable palette is a rainbow that showers us with a positive sense of emotional energy and healing. Lee also thinks that humour is also a great healer and in many of her paintings you can find a sense of playfulness that brings smile in your heart.
“I am a visual storyteller and colour speaks to me in an intimate language and we become one in the telling of the story. There is no doubt my indigenous world view plays a large part in the explosion of colour that busts with the world of the painting. They are an articulation to formulate the existence of the past intermingled with the contemporary."
Lee has a strong commitment, enthusiasm and passion for her community, family and friends. Lee has recently retired from the En’Owkin Centre in Penticton, an international Aboriginal College where she was a well-respected instructor. Lee is in great demand to mentor and facilitate workshops throughout the province and Canada.
Lee was honoured was commissioned to create a 23’x12’ mural at the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan to honor of one of her own heroes, Norval Morrisseau at which Norval attended. Lee will tell you one of her most prized possessions is a photo of her and Morrisseau having a chat at the exhibition.
‘From The Spirit’, a documentary series featuring Indigenous artists from across Canada and the United States has filmed a documentary on Lee, which can be seen on Bravo and APTN. She has also been featured in various newspaper and magazine articles and has illustrated a children’s book ‘I Like Who I Am’ for Theyrtus books, which is an aboriginal publishing company. Lee’s commissioned work has been used for various projects both locally and nationally including the national CUPE campaign for ‘Water Connects Us All’. Lee was commissioned by the PAN/AM Toronto 2015 to represent Canada in a project ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’. The project involved artists from all the countries represented in the Games (41 artists) to paint a piano representing their country. All the pianos were upright but Canada’s was a baby grand. The pianos were then placed throughout the city of Toronto in public spaces for people to play them.
Lee Claremont’s exhibits her work locally, nationally and internationally and her paintings can be found in government, corporate. and private collections throughout the world. One of her paintings is part of a traveling exhibition that features female artists from all over the world. The exhibit started in Beijing, China where Lee attended the 5th United Nations Conference on Women and Children. Lee’s images are found on book covers, art cards, event posters, CD covers and she has also designed a line of fabric using design elements from her paintings.
“Lee Claremont’s genre cannot be boxed or specifically, categorized. Her playful dance with color and her imagery are fresh and alive. While her Mohawk ancestry is strongly evident it never supersedes her universality. She shares her journey with us; vignettes of primal, spiritual, feminine, and strong, all exuding her confidence as a woman and an artist. Catapulting into modernity she is her work: an artist first, indigenous, strong and uninhibited. Her voice will be significant to the future historical record.”
GLOBE AND MAIL
Gayle Liman, Independent Curator
The art of Lee Claremont is exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and her paintings can be found in many government, corporate, and private collections throughout the world.