ABOUT MARY ANN KELLY

I wear various hats in my life – artist, mother, partner, teacher of art, yoga and meditation, graphic designer, reflexologist, reiki master, retreat facilitator, cook, traveler. My passion for art and travel has allowed me to learn about and enjoy various cultures around the world. All of these life experiences have inspired me and informed the richness of my artistic process.

From a young age I enjoyed looking at and creating art. In the mid-seventies, during the Fiber Arts movement, I pursued my love of line and texture, and explored various weaving techniques using non-traditional materials to create three-dimensional work. This transformation and celebration of found materials continues in my work today.

In 1985 I began a MFA program at Mass College of Art where I explored wood, metal, papermaking, installation work and gestural linear 3D drawing. There I deepened my fascination with the Japanese aesthetic and calligraphic forms. My experience with fibers gradually included woodworking and creating ladder-like forms. I enjoyed exploring the depth of color in aging layers of paint on wood, the patinas on metals, the natural surface quality in wood grain seasoned by the elements.

After settling in Northampton in 1997, an area rich in natural beauty, abundant raw materials and artistic communities, I continued to expand upon the ladder series, an Enso or circle series, three-dimensional gestural drawings, and the joys of transforming found materials.

In 2002, a residency at The Vermont Studio Center proved to be an extremely inspiring and productive time for me. Working alongside artists from Japan and Thailand enhanced my awareness and love of the uses of natural materials, simplicity of form and space, and a contemplative, elegant presence in the work.

This thread of an organic theme through all of my work derives from my fascination with a sense of energy and aliveness in nature. The rich reminders throughout the New England countryside of transformation, metamorphosis and the aging process have inspired me to celebrate these themes in my painting and my sculpture.

I also use my hands for healing through Reiki and Reflexology. For the last 25 years my work with people with cancer, AIDS and other illnesses has infused my art with an awareness and desire for meaning and serenity. I have a growing appreciation of the fragility and vulnerability of life, of the importance of simplicity and the wisdom of stillness, which I aim to incorporate in my work.

My latest work explores layering with vibrant colors. Then excavating down through those colors to create a sense of infinite space and timelessness. I think of it as creating a calm within the surrounding storm. As I age and my art ages with me I feel a growing need to simplify, to edit, to celebrate playfulness, to visually create a meaningful quiet state of mind.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

  • MFA in 3D, Fibers/ Massachusetts College of Art/ Boston, MA / 1987 / Honors
  • BS in Art Education / State Univ College / Buffalo, NY /1974 / Honors

SOLO EXHIBITS

  • Specimens of Hope, A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton, MA
  • Thompson Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art: Boston, MA
  • Limited Editions Gallery, Newton Highlands, MA
  • Associated Foundation of Greater Boston: Boston, MA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITS

  • Art in the Orchard, Easthampton, MA
  • Tabla Rasa Gallery, Pioneer Women, New York, NY
  • Gallery at 19 Forbes, Twelve Artists/One Cause, Northampton, MA
  • Sharon Arts Center: Peterborough, NH
  • Plum Gallery: Williamstown, MA
  • The Fiber Art Gallery: Twigs and Sprigs: A Celebration of Line, Amherst, MA
  • Shaw Cramer Gallery: Vineyard Haven, MA
  • Susan Brunner Gallery: Covington / New Orleans, LA
  • Adam Street Gallery: Delmar, NY
  • Women’s Interart Gallery: Boston Seven, New York, NY
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: Mass. College of Art 3-D Faculty
  • Society of Arts and Crafts: Boston Seven. Boston, MA
  • Mills Gallery: “The Sensuous Line”. Boston, MA
  • Art Complex Museum: Boston Seven. Duxbury, MA
  • Danforth Museum: Container Show. Framingham, MA
  • Mills Gallery: Mary Ann Kelly / Wendy Shah. Boston, MA
  • Boston Symphony Hall: Boston Seven. Boston, MA
  • Boston City Hall Main Gallery: Beginnings. Boston, MA
  • Community Arts Gallery: Form & Fiber. Univ. of Mass., Boston, MA
  • Prudential Center Gallery: BVAU Sculpture Show. Boston, MA
  • Guilford Handicrafts: Fibers: Flat & Formed, Guilford, CT
  • Lowell Museum: Textiles II. Lowell, MA
  • The Newton Arts Center: The Full Circle. Newton, MA
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: Fibers: from Function to Formalization

RESIDENCIES/GRANT AWARDS

  • Northampton Arts Council Grant, 2007
  • Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, VSC Artist Grant 2002
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Professional Development Grant 2002
  • Snow Farm, Williamsburg, MA (Norm Ed – welding) 2000
  • Omega, Rhinebeck, NY (Dan Mack – rustic furniture) 1998
  • Art New England, Bennington, VT (Tim Hawkesworth – painting) 2013
  • Omega, Rhinebeck, NY (Jane Davies – painting) 2014
  • Jane Davies Studio Rupert, VT (Jane Davies – painting) 2015
  • Montgomery County Arts Council, Bethesda, MD, Artist Annual Grant Awards 1992-1996