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.