joan Marie kelly, ph.d

Featured Artist

Joan Marie Kelly is a social art practitioner, artist, and educator, who implements participatory art workshops internationally, and whose work emanates from ethnographic practices in collaboration with minority communities. Originally from Baltimore, she moved to Singapore in 2005 to teach her craft at Nanyang Technological University School of Art Design and Media. She works mainly with oil on canvas and enjoys painting human beings in their natural habitat.

She also partners with local municipalities and universities to facilitate storytelling workshops that address trauma due to environmental disasters. These workshops aim to empower survivors to share narratives, emphasizing the significance of their voices and acknowledging their lived experiences of extreme environmental events through image-making. This piece is from an earthquake survivor in Turkey from her May 2023 workshop with Balikesir University and the Balikesir Municipality of Turkiye:

“Labor Without a Thought for Money” gives attention to women’s labor around the world. The Hindu women in Varanasi India who wake up at dawn to make their way to the Ganges River every morning to make Puja’s, a ritual prayer giving honor and reverence to their gods. The women spend hours in this ritual labor never expecting monetary returns. In a world where many people refuse to do anything without expected visible outcomes but their joy to do for a higher cause, is refreshing.

Joan Marie Kelly, "Labor Without a Thought for Money". 73 x 46 in. Oil on Canvas.

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