Blog: Teacher Feature: David Lee, Tenured Instructor and Art Gallery Curator

Learn how one Coastline Instructor brings his passion for art through online and on-site classes.

teacher feature heading, name plate stating: david michael lee, art gallery curator and tenured instructor

Tell us about yourself.

I am an artist, curator, and instructor at Coastline College. Being born and raised in Orange County, Coastline is dear to my heart.

My interest in art began to bloom as a student of our sister school, Orange Coast College (OCC), where I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy. Shortly after Italy, I knew my journey could expand even further if I moved to one of the most culturally driven cities in the world, Chicago. I was happy to learn that I had been accepted into the Bachelor of Arts program at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

After graduation, I moved back to California to pursue my masters at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). I hold a Master of Fine Art (MFA) from CSUF, where I was an artist resident at the Grand Central Art Center.

What do you love about working at Coastline College?

Simply, it is a great place to work. We have wonderful combination of staff, faculty, administrators, and most importantly, our students. Students are what makes this College and Art Gallery a pleasure to work here.

In January 2019, our Art Gallery was recognized on the prestigious list of The Best Art Shows of 2018 by OC Weekly. It brings me joy that the art community can come together at Coastline’s very own Art Gallery.

David Lee is greeted with open arms at the Coastline College Art Gallery.

What makes your class unique and fun?

I teach the majority of my classes online – which challenges me to keep my instructional delivery fresh and interesting every semester. I enjoy fixing the minor speed bumps that come my way as an online instructor and finding new ways to deliver Art History on-site as well.

What is something most of your students or co-workers do not know about you?

As Coastline’s Art Gallery Curator, I commute into work, but I am not your average commuter. I recently moved my whole family to Catalina Island – I live in paradise!

Favorite artist and why?

That’s challenging since there are so many artists to be inspired by. Right now, I will say Robert Rauschenberg is inspiring my work. He has really changed how things were made and gave new meaning to everyday ideas.

What’s new at the Art Gallery?

There’s always something new at our wonderful Art Gallery. We are dedicated to hosting year-round events. The gallery prides itself in its programs, lunchtime lectures, panels, workshops and art sales, all of which focus on works by local SoCal artists with a variety of backgrounds and styles across a range of experience levels.

David Lee, Art Gallery Director, joins in a group photo at the end of the Kitsch-In-Sync opening night, January 26th.
Gallery visitor at Kitsch-In-Sync opening reception at Coastline College’s Art Gallery, Newport Beach, CA

Currently, the Art Gallery is featuring Kitsch-in-Sync, Curated by Bradford J. Salamon. Kitsch-In-Sync is a thematic exhibition exploring the ideas of Kitsch. The Gallery is lucky to exhibit leading artists featured such as David Buckingham, Regina Jacobsen, Serena Potter, just to name a few. For a full list of the artists, see the Kitsch-in-Sync Cards on the Coastline Gallery blog. Come check out Kitsch-In-Sync; we’d love to have you!

This exhibition is free to the public and will run in the Art Gallery at the Newport Beach Campus from January 26 – March 21, 2019. The Art Gallery is open Tuesday – Thursday from 12 – 4:00PM.

About the Teacher Feature Series

Coastline College proudly highlights their renowned faculty through the Teacher Feature blog series. This week’s feature showcases David Lee, Art Curator and Tenured Instructor. Professor Lee can be reached by email. Feeling inspired to take a class with Professor Lee? See course offerings through our class schedule. Enroll today!

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