About the Artist

Monica Rose Kelly is a touring artist based in New Orleans where her studio specializes in illustration, public art, mural design, and light-based projection art. In 2020 she began creating improvisational digital paintings to live music and projecting them onto stages during concerts, creating an immersive performance art experience that blends lighting design with digital media and her rhythmic freestyle painting flow. She coined the term #livelightpainting for this new art form and has recently performed in concert halls across the U.S. as well as The New Orleans Museum of Art and New Orleans’ annual light festival, Luna Fête. She tours with MarchFourth band as their LD/Art Director and adds this live visual element to many different types of concerts locally as well. Monica also serves as the Youth Tech Mentor for Arts New Orleans’ Young Artist Movement program, training student interns in animation, documentation, flow state painting and live light painting. Through the Young Artist Movement program, Monica also teaches technology to at-risk youth in the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center in New Orleans.

Monica has built a career that blends fine art, public art,  illustration, performance and design. Her aesthetic 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.  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 Rose Kelly is currently available for live light painting performances, large scale mural projects, and public art collaborations.          Booking: mkellystudio@gmail.com

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.

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. When she’s not touring, her home studio practice is focused around creating large vibrant paintings and collaborative public artworks that communicate historical narratives, spiritual archetypes, and musicality. Monica’s experience with leadership and passion for art direction has led to the formation of a 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