Casandra Lee is a mixed Chinese-American multimedia artist, based in Peterborough, Ontario. Born and raised in California, Casandra started art fairly late at the age of 19 to help process emotions. Since then, she has written and illustrated two children’s books, The Sun Dance and Building a Home.
Currently, Casandra works as a freelance artist and an educator. She is passionate about storytelling and capturing feelings better expressed through art. Her work is inspired by everything from the cosmos to family to justice. She loves bright colours and about every medium available in the art store. When Casandra is not creating art, she is probably teaching, cooking her cravings, tending to plants, or taking long walks with her partner along the Otonabee River.
What influenced you to use art as a form of activism?
From the beginning of my journey as an artist, I created from a place of having something to say. I was a fairly quiet kid. Growing up Asian in the United States, I didn’t have a strong sense of place or belonging and it reflected in my actions. As a teenager, I cared deeply about social injustices and environmental destruction. There was something about speaking through art that gave voice to the thoughts in my head. Communicating visually was empowering to me. Our world continues to be as oppressive and as violent as ever. Activists who show up day in and day out for issues around the world inspire me to keep putting messages into my work and to stand up for those who are harmed.-Casandra Lee
How do you promote activism through your work?
Through my work, I want to normalize dissent and criticism of our world. It is okay to be critical while loving. Care and engagement with the issues of the world is our responsibility. Public opinions have influence over policy, societal values, and how we live in our world. Through my work, I show support for groups fighting oppression and systemic injustices. And perhaps more indirectly, I want to show how being true to who you are is radical. I want to paint all the aspects of my culture that I was ashamed of and tried to hide growing up.– Casandra Lee
To see more of Casandra’s work:
Check out her website! casandralee.com
Check out her Instagram! @casandramlee