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Opening Reception: Accalia and the Swamp Monster

September 4, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Painting of monkey with another monkey inside it

From August 22, 2014, to February 15, 2015, the LSU Museum of Art presents Accalia and the Swamp Monster: Works by Kelli Scott Kelley. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., free for members; $10 for non-members.

Kelley’s exhibition takes museum visitors on a surreal journey through a haunted southern landscape, one populated by swamp monsters and shadowed by our deepest thoughts and darkest nightmares. Inspired by Kelley’s recently published book of the same name, Accalia and the Swamp Monster is both an entrancing display of Kelley’s art and an affirmation of the transformative power of fairy tales—a story of despair, atonement, and transformation told in the whisper of a remembered bedtime story.

Accalia and the Swamp Monster features 50 of Kelley’s intricate mixed-media works, painted and drawn on repurposed antique linens. These 50 works together form a loosely autobiographical fairy tale inspired by Kelley’s research into the lore of Louisiana swamplands and meditations on her own past. Harkening to the traditions of women’s handicrafts as well as Louisiana folklore, Kelley’s exhibition examines the ways that historical perceptions of gender, family, and place have impacted her personal experiences as well as her practice of art-making.

“The fairy-tale-like story of Accalia and the Swamp Monster,” Kelley says, “is based on my own autobiography and dreams. The images in my artwork have often referenced fairy tales and fables, and so I became curious about writing a mythological narrative as a starting point for a series of artworks. After travelling to Northern Italy to study Renaissance image cycles, I wrote Accalia and the Swamp Monster, and made the intimate, personal works on display in this exhibition.”

Kelley, a professor of painting & drawing at the LSU School of Art, drew upon Roman mythology, Jungian analysis, and the psychology of fairy tales to create Accalia and the Swamp Monster, a deeply personal exhibition that speaks to the role of folklore and fairy tales in contemporary American life.

Accalia and the Swamp Monster: Works by Kelli Scott Kelleyis organized by the LSU Museum of Art and curated by Dr. Katie Pfohl, curator at the LSU Museum of Art.

Read more about Professor Kelli Scott Kelley.


September 4, 2014
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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LSU Museum of Art


LSU Museum of Art
100 Lafayette Street
Baton Rouge, 70801 United States
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