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Interview with Kellie Romany: Visual Artist

Kellie Romany received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts KellieRomany_Passagefrom the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Romany has exhibited both nationally and internationally. She is a painter showing her work here at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center March 13 through May 8, 2015.

You recently moved to Atlanta about a year and a half ago, where were you before and what brings you to Atlanta?

 I previously lived in Chicago. I moved to Chicago in order to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I received my MFA in Painting/ Drawing from SAIC in 2011. I moved to Atlanta mostly for personal reasons. So far I have enjoyed working with the artist community here. There is a lot going on and many people are passionate about the arts and how it functions throughout the city, which is exciting.

How has your work developed since you’ve received your Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011?

SAIC taught me how to be an extremely critical thinker. This kind of skill is not only useful as an artist but useful in life. Since I have graduated SAIC I have had time to think about all of the feedback I gained while there. I am still thinking about what professors said to me while at school. How I frame my work, how my work fits in to the larger context of contemporary art and painting. I have also found there is the ability to slow down when you are not in an MFA program. I have allowed myself to be slow and really thoughtful in my conceptual movements and trajectories.

Will you comment on the scale of your works and the process by which they reach those proportions?

Scale is a tool I use to confront the viewer. It can be used to physically move the viewer through a space. If you have a large piece the viewer will probably step back. If you have a large piece with a lot of detail in it the viewer may step back but then forward again. All this has to do with wanting the viewer to experience the piece with their bodies and be fully engaged in what they are seeing.

You reveal that your paintings have to do with the body, and the language you use when describing your painting techniques is very surgical sounding. Do you mind describing how the body is reflected in your paintings?

The paintings are visceral. I think there is an automatic internal bodily connection in the imagery. Beyond that I think the process used to make the piece is also very much of the body; the paint, oozes, leaks, drips. All of this language and process is very important to the conceptual aspect of the piece. The end product is an illusion of things within the body but also the process used to achieve the piece is ingrained in this bodily language as well. It is my hope that this circles back to the way the viewer experiences the piece. The final product is a thing of beauty, which is intentional, but it also has flaws – slight discolorations and wrinkles, but again there is beauty in all of that. The same can be said of the body.

Kellie Romany’s works will be on display through May 8, 2015. Please come and visit Callanwolde Fine Arts Center to see these incredible paintings. For more information please call 404-872-5338 or contact the Gallery Director Christina Bray cbray@callanwolde.org.

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