“So much of contemporary art right now is about exploring intersections and overlaps between other disciplines, and reaching out into different contexts – science, architecture, public policy, ecology, community planning — almost any other field you can think of has a crossover art movement connected to it. You can do anything with a degree in the arts! Studying art, to me, offers a way to approach established ideas or settings in innovative ways. It’s about questioning and re-contextualizing without being held to a certain product or outcome. It’s powerful.
At Austin College, my art instructors invested in me as a person, took me seriously as an artist, and pushed me to do better when I got lazy. I was able to use gallery space for more than one solo show as an undergrad, which I realized later is rare even among many BFA programs. I also love that I’ve stayed connected with the Art Department after graduation – I really value still having that relationship and opportunity to come back and share my work with the AC community.”
Kelly holds an MFA with a concentration in Drawing from Kansas State University, and is the Executive Director of the Prairiewood Connect Foundation, which develops public programs that educate and inspire people to learn more about the prairie and connect with in a community environment. She also helps coordinate the Tallgrass Artist Residency (which she co-created), and she continues her studio practice, showing and selling work as opportunities arise.