About the Artist

Monica Rose Kelly has been running her studio in New Orleans for over a decade. Her practice intersects the fields of fine art, public art, murals, illustration, and design. Monica’s work is vibrant in nature and communicates the energy of the soul. Her unique style was influenced by growing up around hip hop and graffiti, as well as traveling around the world and discovering the great works of the Impressionist painters, as well as the Art Nouveau and Art Deco architectural movements. She is also inspired by the spiritual archetypes of the Divine Feminine, as made evident through the journeys of the strong women in her life.  Her love for music and dance is channeled into each work with joyful gesture and motion, reflecting the joie de vivre, rhythms, and tropical color palettes of New Orleans. Her studies in herbalism and work as a flower essence practitioner have infused a love of botany and healing into her subject matter, as she often uses flowers and plants as symbols representing different emotional archetypes. 

Monica is passionate about visual storytelling in public spaces, as a modality to preserve histories and create a sense of pride in place. In 2019, she completed a large public art installation for the City of New Orleans along with collaborator Nik Richard, titled “The Spirit of Lower Mid City”. This art walk serves as a commemorative anchor for visitors to learn about the community that once stood in the footprint of University Medical Center.

An educator of many years, Ms. Kelly runs a studio apprenticeship program through which she trains young women on the various aspects of running an arts business. She whole-heartedly believes in the power of art to protest, uplift, and to heal, and is focusing on collaborations that amplify BIPOC voices. Her recent program “The Protest Sign Shop”; commissioned and licensed artworks from local Black artists for the production of protest signs, distributing them at actions through the summer and fall of 2020

Monica Rose Kelly is currently available for large scale mural projects, public art installations, and collaborations.       Booking: mkellystudio@gmail.com

Monica’s recent body of personal work, “Flora Arcana”, examines the relationship between the Divine Feminine and the Earth; through a series of portraits that depict women using plant medicine and flowers to heal. These portraits explore the possibilities of self-healing emotional imbalance and mental illness in communion with Nature. “Flora Arcana” was premiered as a satellite exhibition of Prospect 4 New Orleans and continues to evolve in dialogue with the women who are reflected within the series. 

Monica earned a BFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design, with studies in painting and printmaking. She also worked as a graphic designer for many years. Her current practice focuses on creating large vibrant paintings and collaborative public artworks that communicate historical narratives, spiritual archetypes, and musicality. Ms. Kelly’s experience with leadership and passion for art direction has led to the formation of.new collective: 

Our new non-profit: People for Public Art

In fall of 2019 Monica created an artist-run coalition to support public art in New Orleans, called People for Public Art. The mission is to create, fund, and document works of public art that tell the stories of the people. The first installation created by People for Public Art was “Memorial for Bubba, Quinn, and Jose”, the victims of the collapse of the future Hard Rock building at 1031 Canal St.  Learn more at peopleforpublicart.com

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