For Lee Hazelgrove, art is best broken down into two parts, not necessarily equal in nature: process and the tangible object. Paramount to him is process. The act of creating. The doing. It represents activity, thought, creative impulse, the channeling of product. Hazelgrove’s playground lies somewhere between the two, inside the space where process and product meet, where all the most delicate and perfect parts of the process merge into art.
Hazelgrove’s work stems from a deep spiritual center that he discovered early in his adult life. Around 1984, while apprenticing for Richmond potter Robin Cage, he was introduced to master potter and spiritual force, Mary Bowerman. “At 70 years plus, she threw wood fired pots that were so simple, understated and subtle,” said Hazelgrove. “They were almost capable of being written off as pedestrian until one held a small cup or plate and felt its primal impulse. It was staggering to me.” In the early 90’s, he came across the work of Yih-Wen Kuo at Richmond’s Hand Workshop (now Visual Arts Center). “One piece in particular completely overwhelmed me,” said Hazelgrove,” “I must have gone back to the gallery at least a half a dozen times that month just to sit with it and feel the vibration of the vessel,” he said.