Art Sale Top Seller: Barret Lee

What does it take to be a top seller at the annual MCAD Art Sale? We asked Barret Lee, one of the best of the last two decades, to talk us through his experience and share his secrets.

Barret Lee ’16 is a multidisciplinary artist who works in a range of mediums. He paints a wide variety of subjects, including wide-eyed characters, playful landscapes, and his take on pop culture. He currently works as a freelance fine artist.

What mediums do you primarily work in?

My painting practice is made with acrylics and spray painting in tandem. My other pieces take on a variety of mediums from color pencil, pen, marker, watercolor, acrylic, collage, and chalk all on one large sheet of paper.

What has MCAD meant for you in terms of launching your creative career?

MCAD got me into painting. I started school with the intention of being a graphic designer but once classes began my whole idea of what I wanted to do changed. I instantly found a passion for painting and haven't looked back since.

What does your primary artist practice look like?

I currently work out of Studio 385 in the Northrup King building full time as a freelance fine artist. My most recent project I was able to do 25 pieces for the new Rafter Apartments in North East Minneapolis that will permanently hang in the building.

Where can people find your work?

You can always find me in Studio 385 at the Northrup King Building in Northeast Minneapolis, where I work out of and show during events. Art Fairs in the Twin Cities area are other events I sell art at, along with a constant selection of work at Gamut gallery downtown. My website is another place to look with a constant update with work around my studio for sale.

Can you describe a memorable sale or moment from the Art Sale?

Last year was my first year showing my larger mixed media drawings. It was great to get the positive response that they received. I'm planning on showing many more drawings at this year's art sale.

What do you love about making art?

The constant search to make something great. It's an everyday battle that I love.

Is there any Art Sale work that has inspired you? Describe it!

Of course, I'm always excited to see the new work fellow alumni have made over the year. Sarah Evenson, Sam Dirk, and Tessa Binder are all favorites of mine that I have bought work from in the past. It's also great to see what the next generation of young students are making like Ryan Isaac and Tyler Jackson

What Art Sale advice would you give to young MCAD artists?

Be sure to fill all twenty-five slots if possible. You never know what people will be interested in buying. Framing is also very important to make a piece look complete and help the buyer envision it in a space.


Additional Top Sellers

*Note that the term "Top Seller" is defined both in sales and number of pieces sold.