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A weekly snapshot of creative people living in the Las Vegas Valley

Name: Danielle Kelly, artist

Age: 38

Education: BachelorÕs in theater and studio art, Beloit College Founding
Beloit College, the first post secondary education institution in Wisconsin, was founded by a group called Friends for Education, which was started by seven pioneers from New England who agreed that a college needed to be established soon after arrival in Wisconsin
, Wisconsin; Master of Fine Art, UNLV UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas  

Day job: Operations manager See datacenter manager.  at the Neon Museum

Her work: ItÕs difficult to pinpoint KellyÕs work. Multidimensional, spatial and always evolving, it varies from show to show — abstract, exceedingly detailed or minimal, refined or crude, serene or intense. Sometimes itÕs just about the object and the viewerÕs relationship to the object. Other times there is an elaborate underlying narrative. SheÕs an impeccable draftsman. Occasionally she incorporates performance into her work. Her sculptures and installations have included yarn, cardboard, wood and found objects. Her process is one of research and questioning. Kelly explores the idea of a collective history and strives to materialize and transform the collective emotional and psychic refuse we carry with us.

The nomadic See nomadic computing.  life: Originally from St. Louis, Kelly studied at St. Louis University for two years before completing her degree at Beloit College, where she graduated one class shy of a triple major in studio art, set design and theater arts.

By then, she had spent a year studying art in Glasgow, Scotland. After college, she hit the road: Portland, Ore.; London; Denver; and back to Portland, spending her 20s exploring, reading, producing work, but not showing it, until she woke up one day and decided to engage and began working in a Portland gallery The Portland Gallery is an art gallery in Westminster, London, located near Piccadilly Circus. It was established in 1984 by Thomas Hewlett.

The gallery specializes in twentieth century and contemporary Scottish paintings, and focuses largely on the work of the four

Getting to Vegas: Kelly arrived in Vegas in 2001, worked as a graveyard bartender at BarleyÕs in Henderson while staying with her mom, who had moved here from St. Louis. She planned to take a few classes at UNLV with Dave Hickey For the football player of same name, see .

Dave Hickey is one of the best known American art and cultural critics practising today. He has written for many major American publications including Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America,
 and Libby Lumpkin, then apply for school elsewhere to study critical theory and art history.

Taking the plunge: Kelly kept her artwork to herself until a meeting with Lumpkin to discuss applying for a degree that would lead to a museum career took a vastly different turn. ÒShe said to really think about what I want to do. ÔDo you want to get up every day and read about art or do you want to get up every day and make art?Õ It was a life-changing conversation. Once I gave myself the license, it became obvious.Ó

The process: Kelly began her MFA See multifactor authentication.  program as a figurative painter. ÒI hated it, felt really locked in. The work that I saw and was obsessed ob·sess  
v. ob·sessed, ob·sess·ing, ob·sess·es
To preoccupy the mind of excessively.

 with was work that was difficult for me to understand how they got there — (Mark) Rothko, Anselm Kiefer This article should be [ translated] from material at .

Anselm Kiefer (born March 8, 1945, Donaueschingen) is a German painter and sculptor. He studied with Joseph Beuys during the 1970s. His works incorporate materials like straw, , clay, lead, and shellac.
, (Richard) Serra. When I got to grad school, I quit painting entirely, removed all color, did drawings, back to basics. I tried to let the work tell me where to go, make marks followed by marks, started thinking about process, started thinking spatially. I loved Monet, but really wanted to stand next to this slab of metal,Ó a Serra sculpture.

Exhibits: Solo and group shows include shows at the Las Vegas Art Museum, Trifecta tri·fec·ta  
A system of betting in which the bettor must pick the first three winners in the correct sequence. Also called triple.

[tri- + (per)fecta.]
 Gallery, Main Gallery and Contemporary Arts Center The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a pioneering contemporary art museum located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The CAC is a non-collecting museum that focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media.  in Las Vegas and in other cities. SheÕs also participated in public art projects around Las Vegas.

Next exhibit: She is collaborating with a modern dancer from Portland, Ore., for an October show at the downtown Contemporary Art Center. Kelly will make objects for an installation. Her friend will dance with them.

Neon Museum: ÒI feel really honored to be at the Neon Museum. This is ours, but itÕs everyoneÕs. These signs are part of international popular culture.Ó

Living in Vegas: ÒItÕs the last frontier. ItÕs the Wild West. You can do anything. AnythingÕs possible, but itÕs hard because there is no infrastructure.Ó

Sticking around? ÒI love the desert. I just want to make stuff. IÕm happy staying here, but IÕm interested in bridging Vegas with other communities.Ó

Other interests: Hiking, yoga, poodles, watching ÒIce TruckersÓ and ÒNo Reservations,Ó collecting hand-held, thumb-controlled marionettes.

Kristen Peterson can be reached at 259-2317 or at
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Author:Kristen Peterson
Publication:Las Vegas Sun
Date:Aug 11, 2009
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