Kelly Gadsby

Contact Information

Recent Work

Artist's Statement

The intentional physicality of my paintings is as much a result of my dialogue throughout the process as it is the means with which I invite viewers to experience the work viscerally. Iconography may be the entry point for viewers, but the essence of the elements and ambiguity demand individual interaction with each painting. Layering is both revealing and concealing, creating a balanced tension and suspension which is really what painting is for me. I use the elements to speak for me and I wish to open doors to new dialogue within and between viewers.

Collage allows me to explore realms of fantasy and deconstruction, using more figurative language to speak about our inner and outer social spheres. They are theatrical in nature and entertain themes of humor, satire, and sexuality. I relate the layering of images with the hierarchy of religious paintings and icons, which left an impression on me since early childhood. Similarly, I use symbolism and isolated imagery to construct contemporary psychological narratives and scenarios reminiscent of traditional Catholic and Renaissance artwork.

Although I received my BFA in Painting from Moore in 1993, I have dedicated most of my artistic energies for the past 15 years or so into teaching. During my career with the School District of Philadelphia, it was always important for me to not just teach students about art but also how to navigate the world. I stressed to them that their past does not necessarily have to dictate their future, and to pursue their dreams through adversity. These words began to take more and more personal significance when I reflected on my own experience making art. This is why I paint, it is the closest thing I know to freedom.

Professional Experience

2005 - 2017
School District of Philadelphia, grades K-12

2001 - 2003
Bristol High School, Bristol, PA

1997 - 1998
Wood River Village Retirement Community, Bensalem, PA

1993 - 1995
Moonstone Inc., Philadelphia, PA

Related Experience
2008 - 2013
Private art lessons and portfolio preparation

Graduation backdrop for Bristol High School

MR Daniels Set Design class

1989 - 1990
Walnut Street Theater School, Philadelphia, PA


Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate Level II

Art Education Certification K-12

Moore College of Art, Philadelphia PA
BFA in Painting