New developments are happening with Ted Lee, a mixed media artist who works in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Recently, he’s entered into a collaborative project with The Sursy, a multi-faceted experiential design and development group headed by Lauren Richardson. Based in Denver, Colorado, The Sursy seeks to promote artists like Ted by designing shoppable spaces, including a collective of shoppable Airbnbs, where all furnishings, art, and décor are for sale to guests (and via thesursy.com).

This collaboration promises to be beneficial for both Ted and Lauren; Lauren will be displaying Ted’s beautiful paintings on the walls of a newly debuted shoppable listing in Coal Creek Canyon—and Ted will have the opportunity to sell that work to guests staying within the home. Read on to learn more about Ted Lee, The Sursy, and this unique new collaboration!

About Ted Lee

Ted is well-known for the art that he produces and sells throughout Charlotte and elsewhere. His work features unique styles and themes all inspired by his life experiences—and right now, he’s expanding his art career to cities beyond Charlotte.

Originally, his business started small. As a child, Ted was known to draw quite often, and it is something that stayed with him into his college years. However, life led him away from art, and after a long hiatus during which he tended to a career and reared a family, Ted got back into painting, and eventually started selling those paintings through local venues. He’s an artist with a drive to create, and a drive to promote what he creates, which led him to both creating more, and finding new ways to market those creations.

These days, he says that creating his paintings is addictive—and that’s what has been driving him to seek out new opportunities through venues like The Sursy. His creativity comes from diverse experiences over the years, things like a trip with his family to Spain, his birthplace and the area in which he grew up, and more.

In particular, his childhood home features prominently as a theme in his artwork. As a child, he had the opportunity to visit places like Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello and other historic homes like Robert E. Lee’s home. In those visits, it was things like the exploration of the grounds that stuck with him. He recalls how so many of the manors throughout Virginia had wonderful boxwoods. To this day, the shape and smell of those boxwoods feature as an inspiration in his work.

These are the kinds of things that Ted pulls from as he creates. His past, the many things he’s experienced over the course of his life, and the natural beauty that has always surrounded him.

As his style goes, he finds himself inspired by the work of abstract expressionists who painted during the 1950s, including artists like Francis Bacon, Robert Motherwell, Robert De Kooning, and Robert Rauschenberg. That’s why his own art trends heavily toward abstraction. Each piece is designed to be approachable and to evoke thought and study. His inspiration and persistence keep him producing unique pieces, unlike anything that you’ll find anywhere else. In life and in his paintings both, he focuses on the beauty of things—the colors in trees, clouds, and everything else. Diversity, in other words, the diversity of people and in the things surrounding him that he channels into his creativity.

Lee’s work is largely in the abstract vein, but in one piece after the next, you’ll see how he’s evoked landscapes, nature, and other themes prominent in his life. His compositions are unusual and intricate, and most of all, they carry a sense of movement and motion. In each, Lee tries to bring them to life by adding a visual feeling reminiscent of dance.

About the Sursy

The Sursy is an experiential design and development group that offers interior design and rental listing optimization services, operates a growing collection of shoppable Airbnbs, and is pursuing development of a unique hospitality concept. The company’s portfolio of shoppable properties fuses retail, hospitality, and design, with a mission of supporting local and fostering community through experiences. Each of their shoppable Airbnb properties allows guests to book a stay, and to then #shopthestay. Everything from the furnishings to the décor to the literal paint on the walls is for sale, and is made by local artists, makers, and independent brands. Not staying as a guest? You can browse their curated selection of artisan home goods online to experience the ‘retail meets hospitality’ experience from anywhere.

The Sursy prides itself on not only using their shoppable spaces to promote local artists, makers, and small businesses, but also to support them through their services. All interior design projects prioritize sourcing local when it comes to everything from construction services to fabric selections and furniture sourcing.

The Sursy was founded by Lauren Richardson, who is a multi-disciplinary creative and entrepreneur, much like Ted. Prior to launching The Sursy, she spent years working for Fortune500 brands on the agency side, building credible global marketing chops and expertise in brand building, creative strategy, and project management. She is obsessed with innovation in real estate and interiors and founded The Sursy in hopes of creating meaningful experiences at the intersection of retail, hospitality, and design.

The Sursy’s portfolio of shoppable Airbnbs currently includes three homes in Colorado – two in Denver and one in Coal Creek Canyon – with more debuting soon. Also up and coming is their roadside motel redevelopment project, which will be a mixed-use commercial space that includes shoppable rooms and on-site amenities intended to bring locals and travelers together.

Collaboration Between Ted Lee and The Sursy

This up and coming collaboration is set to be part of The Sursy’s most recent shoppable space, a mountain cabin located in Coal Creek Canyon about 45 minutes from Denver. Here, amongst other locally made furnishings and décor, select pieces of Ted’s work will be featured as part of the design—and those paintings will be available for purchase. It promises to be an interesting experience for guests, who will be able to spend time living with the art and getting to know it before they buy it and take it home to enjoy it among their own collections.

Ted and Lauren both are from Charlotte, North Carolina. As Lauren is always looking for new creatives to work with, and Ted is always looking for new outlets to display his art, it was natural that these two came together on this project. A mutual friend put them in touch, and Lauren’s passion for supporting local artists drove her to strike a partnership with Ted.

This collaboration is sure to be a good one—and the unique guest experience offered by The Sursy will likely draw much attention over the years to come as Lauren adds more shoppable Airbnbs to her collective and begins development of her first shoppable hospitality concept. It’s a fantastic way to connect potential buyers with local artists, and in so doing, support the work that those artists are doing. What’s more, for the guests of these shoppable homes and rooms, the experience really gives them a chance to get to experience the pieces of art that they will be purchasing.

You can find more of Ted Lee’s work on his instagram, and on his website. More information about Ted Lee’s Sursey pieces can be found via the Sursey website: