Stella Zee

About Stella Zee

Stella Zee was born in Shanghai, China. As a young child, she spent her formative years in Hong Kong, Her grandfather, a renowned calligrapher in China, recognized her writing talent and encouraged her through letters to practice. She filled pages of calligraphy, establishing a style that was expressive and concise. Thereafter, her father, pursuing a business opportunity, moved the family to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Stella was compelled to learn Portuguese, adapt to a new culture, but also ingested the flair, artistry, and climate of her new country. The Brazilian unabashed love of color and style informed her already highly developed sense of line in her calligraphy. This synthesis would play out repeatedly in her mature works.The next key to her development would come when she came to college and graduate school in the U.S. After Boston College, she attended the School of the Art Institute and earned an M.F.A. in Painting. Under the guidance of SAIC teachers, she found in the medium of oil painting a means to integrate the cultural influences that had informed her life. In 1982 heralding her work, Richard Loving chose her to be included in an Art Institute Show in the Morton Wing. Stella has shown extensively in Chicago and has taught at the Art Institute and the Evanston Art Center. She lives and works in Chicago.

by Christopher Bowen