Press and Media
The Red Door Gallery Show
In 2009 Lee mounted a solo exhibition of new work at the Red Door Gallery in Richmond Virginia. The Gallery produced a video documenting the creation of the show.
CRAFTING A CONNECTION By ALICIA PETSKA
The News Virginian
It was four years ago, almost exactly, artist Lee Hazelgrove recalls. His work, a mix of ceramic pieces invoking the tranquil beauty of ancient Eastern culture, was showing at a Seattle gallery. The date was easy enough to remember - March 2003, just after the invasion of Iraq, an anything but tranquil time for the country. “The gallery owner called me,” Hazelgrove recalled. “And he said a group of, like, a dozen people had just started coming in, hanging out around their lunch hour from work.” Confused, the Richmond artist asked why they would do that. “He told me they said, ‘Well, we don’t know this guy [the artist] but it kind of makes us feel good, hanging out around his work.”
And wrapped up in that story is the motivation behind Hazelgrove’s art. Since then, he has strived to re-create that moment, seeking to construct pieces that reach out to the viewer’s soul and spark a - perhaps indefinable - connection. “I want to make something that just hits you,” he said. “Something that makes you say, ‘I need that. I need to have that in my life.’ ” Hazelgrove’s work is now on display at the new Shenandoah Valley Art Center location on the corner of Wayne Avenue and Federal Street, where it will be shown until April 3. The varied forms of his pieces - vases, pots and wall hangings, all imbued with a delicate blend of earth tones - are a commingling of both ancient and modern influences....When creating, Hazelgrove, who last showed with the art center almost a decade ago, said he works to forge new relationships between the form and the surface of his pieces. Most recently, for example, he has been focusing on modern shapes finished with an ancient “pit firing” technique that gives them a raw, charred texture. “The two go together in pottery,” he said of the intertwined elements. “And it’s part of my journey as an artist, trying to find the perfect marriage between the two.” “What is that thing that art has?” he reflected. “Sometimes I think it’s indefinable. It’s just a connection with the piece. It transcends what it actually is.”