Kelly is a curator, writer, and art worker. She seeks connections between the body, environment, and spiritual experience including exploring human relationships to space, geology, ritual and magic, body parts and functions, labor, and larger intersectional, queer issues.
She has worked at art spaces and museums across the country and her writing has been featured in ART PAPERS, Recaps Magazine, and Bmore Art.
Kelly earned her MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art and BA in Feminist Art History and Theory from Southwestern University. She is currently the Program and Volunteer Coordinator at the Rothko Chapel. View her full CV here.
I am drawn to art that explores what it means to be human, in a body, on this earth.
Foundational influences include personal and interactive works produced by feminist performance artists—Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Ana Medieta, Mierle Ukeles, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Suzanne Lacy, Tania Bruguera and Sharon Hayes, among others; artists who create material poetry related to the body, perception and the human experience through installation—Lee Mingwei, James Turrell, Janine Antoni, Kimsooja, Dario Robleto; artists who incorporate provocative language and text in their works—Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Glenn Ligon, Ken Lum; and artists and architects who explore nature as sacred space—Nils-Udo, Agnes Denes, Lita Albuquerque, Olafur Eliasson and others.
Additional visual languages that inform my personal and curatorial aesthetics include the music video, especially late 70s and early 80s experimental disco videos; film and television as a powerful mode of storytelling about communities and social phenomena (recently: Moonlight, The Rider, Call Me By Your Name, Buffy, Star Trek: Next Generation); fashion, particularly when highlighting the intersections of identity, function, and fantasy; portrait photography and illustration of people and their habitats; as well as the chaotic order and hue of natural environments, particularly the range of blues and greens found in Texas skies and forests.
I approach curating with a close attention to how visitors encounter and interact with artworks and related concepts in their displayed environments. I like to experiment with different ways of contextualizing objects and information by creating catalogs, handouts, info panels and programming.
Projects should be like Prince albums: unexpected, delightful, nuanced, deep but not too deep, carefully arranged, while also playful and experimental, passionate, strengthened by collaboration, design-forward, and should leave you feeling like you want to press repeat. The best exhibitions should feel like walking through a forest or climbing up a mountain, coming out of meditation, having a friendly debate, eating an amazing multi-course meal...
I believe in creating temporary and long-term communities through exhibitions and writing, and bringing embodied intersectionality to each of my projects to counteract the disembodied, violent culture we live in.