Artist and LSU School of Art Associate Professor of Painting Kelli Scott Kelley Receives $32,000 Atlas Award

Artist and LSU School of Art Associate Professor of Painting Kelli Scott Kelley recently won an Award to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (also known as an ATLAS Award) in the amount of $32,000 for her proposal, “Accalia, Girl With Two Dog Faces.”

Kelley’s project is based on a 5,000 word surreal fairytale of the same name and derived from autobiography and dreams. It will include a series of mixed media paintings mired in the haunting landscape of South Louisiana, and executed on antique fabrics which she says reference traditional women’s handicrafts and allow her to work in an ecologically conscious way.

In 2010 Kelley showed several of the pieces which were underway at the time in the Czech Republic and in Houston.

“My intention is to create a complete cycle of narrative images inspired by the tale, and to create a book, which will pair the artworks with the text,” she says.

Plans are underway for an exhibition and the accompanying book to travel to museums in the United States and Europe. Kelley’s plans also include engaging a Louisiana folklorist, a Jungian psychologist, and an art historian to write essays for the book, connecting her work to those practices.

“Psychoanalytic, socio-historic and feminist theory have demonstrated the impact fairytales have had on audiences for decades. This has been part of the appeal of Pop Surrealism and Disney films,” Kelley says. “My work is in a position to push the genre by presenting a new set of iconic characters and symbols to add to the canon.”

ATLAS grant proposals were solicited for creative and scholarly activities undertaken by Louisiana faculty in all arts, humanities, and social sciences disciplines.“Accalia, Girl With Two Dog Faces” was submitted during fiscal year 2010-2011.

In 2009, Kelley’s original film, “Bird and Squirrel,” premiered at The Manship Theater, Shaw Center for the Arts, in Baton Rouge; she was named a Rainmaker, one of 100 outstanding research and creative faculty by LSU, and her work is represented by Hooks Epstein Gallery in Houston.