Dan & Lee Ross

Dan and Lee Ross met in 1972 as college students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Dan, who is from Madison, Wisconsin, and Lee, who was born in St. Paul, began collaborating at that time, an artistic and professional endeavor that continues today. Their work has been commissioned for many private and public art collections, including Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and the University of Wisconsin-School of Pharmacy in Madison. They have exhibited throughout the United States, and their work is included in several regional corporate art collections, including the Minnesota Historical Society and the Mayo Clinic.

Known for their use of simplified, geometric forms, and earthy colors, Dan and Lee Ross are inspired by the seasonal changes they observe in their everyday surroundings. Elements of nature are transformed into elegant, modern designs, a creative process they credit to the landscape just beyond their front door.
The artists have worked side-by-side for over forty years, from the initial ideas and designs to their finished ceramic sculptures, stone carvings and prints. Their home and studio is located in Hovland, Minnesota, just 16 miles north of Grand Marais. Living in northern Minnesota and along the lake has had a dramatic impact on their work.
Our perception of time changed in 2020 when we entered the print studio in mid- December.  We were ready to get to work, ready to put new ideas on paper but then we saw a calendar on the wall opened to March 2020.  Seeing the calendar made us stop and reflect.  Time had stood still for 9 months.  What is time?  How do we measure it? Ancient cultures charted the length of shadows or positions of the stars and followed the rhythm of the seasons.  With the disruption of the events that marked our calendar we found new ways to measure time.  On our daily hikes along the trails by the Brule River and Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota we were fascinated by how time has changed the course of the river and reshaped rocks and boulders along the lake. The trail ending where the river meets the lake and the lake meets the sky.