Artist's Bio

Altered Books by Jacqueline Rush Lee

Jacqueline Rush Lee defies our expectations of what books can be with fecund meditations on nature and permanence. With a deft hand, Rush Lee explores the material possibilities, drawing parallels between the life-cycles of books and those of humans through forms found in nature
— Curator Beth McLaughlin, Fuller Museum


Jacqueline Rush Lee is an internationally exhibited Hawaii-based sculptor recognized for her work with the book form. While Lee is recognized for her work with the book, she works in other media. Lee is interested in the aesthetic of books as cultural objects that come with their own histories of use and meaning.  By using books as her canvas or building block, Jacqueline transforms their formal and conceptual arrangement through a variety of practices in which the physicality, and thus the context of the books have been altered. Remaining open to the physical and metaphorical transformations that occur in her working process, Lee’s residual sculptures or installations emerge as a palimpsest – a document that bears traces of the original text within its framework but possesses a new narrative as a visual document of another time.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Jacqueline has participated in numerous exhibitions in Hawaii and abroad. Her artwork has been featured in books, magazines, and publications that include: Book Art: Iconic Sculptures and Installations Made from Books, PaperCraft: Design and Art with Paper, Art Made from Books and Sculpture Magazine; with mentions of her work in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Courrier International. Select shows include: Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery, Boundless:The Book Transformed in Contemporary Art (Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum), The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book (Bellevue Arts Museum), Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge (Whatcom Museum), Metamorphosis: The Art of Altered Books (Fuller Craft Museum), and NextNewPaper at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. Her work is in private and public collections that include the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the Allan Chasanoff Book Art Collection, Yale Art Gallery. Jacqueline has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Hawaii at Manoa 2000. She was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Hawaii in the Fall of 2016, a Winter resident artist at Penland School of Crafts, 2017, and Artist-in-Residence and Fellow at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts for a month this Spring. She will have a solo exhibition of her work in 2018 at the Honolulu Museum of Art.