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Meet Kelsey Irvin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsey Irvin.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
As a child I drew intricate drawings on everything I possibly could: napkins, school folders, church programs; Everything. Becoming a professional artist never crossed my mind because I didn’t realize that could be a profession. In college I fell in love with painting, and even sold a few pieces before I graduated, but still didn’t believe one could make a living selling art. I visited Southern California after graduating with no intention of staying. I ended up getting a part time job working for a small design firm and storefront in Newport Beach. When they learned I was an artist they asked to see my work – they told me they could sell my work. Soon after they were selling pieces off their walls and I received my first large commission. These first sales and commissions snowballed into many more and within a couple years I was able to paint full-time and make a living doing so in Southern California. It still surprises me to this day – almost 15 years later.

Please tell us about your art.
All of my work is a combination of drawing, painting, and collage. This combination recognizes the three main practices I’ve focused on and love the most. I use a lot of vintage ephemera as collage materials in my work. This is in part because they hold very interesting stories from the past and add dynamic textures to the compositions. Additionally, I feel strongly that a lot of the collage materials I use will no longer be available to us in the future. So many paper objects are losing their place in our lives due to the digital age. Tablets and screens are replacing books, for example. One day books will only be found in museums. So, I try to pay homage to these important objects of our past and present by placing them into a place where they can be appreciated and viewed. I try to give vintage ephemera new life before it is lost or deteriorated with time.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Oh I’m not sure I’d call it lonely. I suppose it depends on the person. I need my alone time in the studio, but get plenty of socialization thereafter. Artists tend to be very easy to connect with but it’s important to do so in person versus via the internet. I would suggest meeting artists at openings as well as connecting with artists that are represented by the same galleries as you. There is a common ground there and artists love talking shop, so there is never a dull moment in conversation.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I show in 7 galleries across the country at this point. My galleries include: Kelsey Michaels Fine Art in Laguna Beach, GF Contemporary in Santa Fe, Whitney Modern in Los Gatos, Craighead Green in Dallas, Exhibit by Aberson in Tulsa, Jules Place Gallery in Boston, and Gardner Colby Gallery in Naples. Following my work on Instagram via my artist page or any of my galleries is a great way to view some work from afar, and stopping into any of these galleries allows you to see the work in person.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images Copyright Kelsey Irvin.

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