Image credit: Kristy Field

Image credit: Kristy Field

Kelly O’Brien is an American mixed media artist who lives and works near Bath, England. In 2011, she left the United States to join her husband, a UK/US citizen, in Frankfurt for an international assignment with his company. With a master's degree in adult development, Kelly had a 20+ year career working in leadership and management development for the US government and large organizations. Leaving the US presented her with an opportunity to pursue her art practice on a full-time basis.

Materials and personal narrative play important roles in Kelly’s work. She works primarily with paper, attracted to its paradoxical qualities of ephemeral strength. Even when manipulated in seemingly destructive ways - scoring, burning, sewing into, tearing, repairing - what emerges is often more interesting and beautiful than the original form. She is interested in how her materials can transform and reinvent themselves into something new, not unlike an adult who continues to learn and grow – coming full circle in her work from the earlier career.

Kelly is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Art at Bath Spa University with an expected degree award in 2019. Throughout two international moves, Kelly has maintained a disciplined pursuit of her art education, all the while building a steady record of exhibitions and collectors, including work placed in over twenty public collections to date.

In Germany, Kelly is represented by Galerie Uhn of Königstein-im-Taunus. In North America and Europe, she is represented by multiple fine art consulting firms, and works extensively with trade professionals that serve the designed interiors market, including hospitality, healthcare, corporate, and high-end residential projects. Her work can be found in public collections throughout the United States, The Middle East, Asia, and the West Indies.

Kelly is a juried artist at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia, US, and in the UK an Associate Artist at Spike Island, Bristol and 44AD ArtSpace, Bath. She is also part of the Frankfurt artist collective CKCK.

You can download Kelly's current CV here.

Representation

Artiq, London, UK

Carlyn & Company Interiors + Design, Great Falls, VA, US

Daniel Fine Art Services, San Juan Capistrano, CA, US

Galerie Uhn, Königstein-im-Taunus, Germany

Grand Image Fine Art Publisher, Seattle, WA, US

James Robertson Art Consultants, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kalisher, Carrboro, NC, US

Modern Art Buyer, Bath, UK

Soho Myriad Fine Art Consultants, Atlanta, GA, US

Collections

The Address Boulevard Dubai, Dubai, UAE

The Brahma Beijing Residence, Beijing, China

University of California, Irvine Library Artists' Books Special Collections, Irvine, CA

Corcoran College of Art Collections Library, Washington, DC

Cornell University, Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY

The Delta School, Wilson, AK

Four Seasons Astir Palace, Athens, Greece

Four Seasons Nevis, West Indies

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Hilton Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL

Intercontinental Lane Field South, San Diego, CA

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA

Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Charlotte, NC

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Lifespan Comprehensive Cancer Center, East Greenwich, RI

Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Franklin, TN

Marriott Hotel Ithaca Downtown on the Commons, Ithaca, NY

Marriott Hotel Miami Airport, Miami, FL

Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, VA

Modera Central, Orlando, FL

Mount Nicholson Residential Properties Show Flats, Hong Kong

Norwegian Cruise Lines, Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Lines, Joy

Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pride of America

NYC Connolly Hotel

Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, UAE

Taj Hotel, Boston, MA

Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, RI

Private collections in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Switzerland

Resources

This artist journey is not for the faint of heart. Along the way, I've found these resources to be helpful touchstones to return to, time and again.

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron; also: Finding Water and Walking in This World

The War of Art and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Mastering Creative Anxiety by Eric Maisel

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts by Anna Deavere Smith

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

Maria Papova's blog Brain Pickings, a source of beautifully curated resources and inspiration.