About the Artist

Artist Monica Rose Kelly has been running her studio in New Orleans for 10 years. 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. She has been heavily influenced by the spiritual qualities 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 palette of New Orleans.

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.

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