Brian Kelly received an M.F.A. in Printmaking at Louisiana State University, a B.F.A. in Printmaking from Northern Illinois University, and a Certificate in Waterless Lithography from the Tamarind Institute of Lithography. Professor Kelly serves as Head of the Printmaking program and is Coordinator of Marais Press at UL Lafayette. Kelly holds the Universities Coca-Cola/BORSF Endowed Professorship and has been recognized as a University of Louisiana at Lafayette University Distinguished Professor (2010), a UL Lafayette Eminent Faculty for Leadership and Service (2017), has received the Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award (2019), and the UL Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.
Kelly has presented and conducted over 60 printmaking workshops and lectures concerning printmaking research in the United States, Mexico, and Canada and has held residences at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography and GLATT/YMAGOS Atelier in San Paulo Brazil.
Kelly’s prints have been included in over 500 exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Poland, England, Scotland, and Slovenia. His prints have been included in museum and university collections that include the United States Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, Southern Graphics International Printmaking Archives, the University of Aberystwyth, Monash University, Print Australia Print Archives Australia, Limerick School of Art and Design, West Cork Arts Center, Skibbereen, Co. Cork–Ireland, GLATT/YMAGOS Atelier, San Paulo, Brazil, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Block Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art, The Hilliard Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, the University of Arizona Museum of Art, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Texas Tech University others.
Artist Statement /
In my estimation, image making is a journey into the unseen – never the unknown.
When I look down on a sheet of paper, or a freshly ground stone, I know there is a yet-to-be discovered image within the surface. When a work begins, I have no specific agenda, just an attitude of energy, personal memories, and a love for just pure drawing. The work evolves, beginning with one form leading to the next, and so on. These playing of forms off of each other result in a puzzling assortment of figures and shapes that move through an apparently irrational though structured world.
My work draws its influence from personal migrations throughout environments located outside and throughout Louisiana to those in Utah, New Mexico, Montana, and Colorado and embraces both the abstract and representational. The prints are narrative’s that talk about time, specific experiences and places that are social, personal, and political in nature. Figures and images of animals are adopted and personified as specific characters within these narrative events to speak metaphorically about personal and social issues. These elements are presented in a motionless state, as if they were specimens or scenes that become little glimpses of a world outside of, or removed from, the human realm. The compositions tend to be overflowing with imagery and seemingly chaotic but always grounded in a strong sense of structural formalism and a pure love for the rendering of form.
While I do not intend for, or expect the viewer to be concerned with the specific personal event that might inspire an image, I do intend to engage them with that event’s peculiar and evocative presence. I want the viewer to react, explore, and interpret these surreal worlds, filled with their fantastic beasts, humans, critters, timelessness, and at times humor.
I'd like to thank the great print assistants we had on this project: Jason Clark, Dagny Walton, Crystal McCallie & Orion Bos.
This project was funded by MATRIX Press