photo by Charles Barnes
Martha Kelly grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, got a B.A. in studio art and religion at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and has made her lifelong home in Memphis. She has shown in galleries across the Southeast since her first solo show in 1999. She had her first museum exhibition at Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, from November 2015 to January 2016. Her second solo museum show will be at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art from March to August, 2022.
Martha has done illustration work for various publishers including Westminster John Knox Press, Contemporary Media, and Chalk Line Press since 2010. Martha's first major illustrated book, the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., was published in 2018. In a related liturgical art role she served as the Varnell Artist-in-residence at Memphis Theological Seminary from 2015 to 2017. Her most recent book P is for Possum, her first as an author/illustrator, is carried by a range of local bookstores.
Martha had her first solo gallery exhibition in 1999 and has had shows at Perry Nicole Fine Art (Memphis, TN), Katharine Butler Gallery (Sarasota, FL), Seven Sisters Gallery (Black Mountain, NC), Cecelia Lin Gallery (Memphis, TN), as well as at various Memphis venues such as Christian Brothers University, Playhouse on the Square, ANF Architects, Dyersburg State Community College, and Theater Memphis. Martha has also participated in group exhibitions at Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, david lusk gallery (Memphis, TN), NorDys Gallery (Birmingham, AL), and Hansen Gallery (Knoxville, TN).
She maintains a home gallery of her paintings and prints in Midtown Memphis. Call or email to stop by and see her work.
Read her full vita here.
In the media:
Age of Nature: The Artist on WKNO tv (November 2020).
Tennessee Crossroads on PBS (March 2014).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (December 2021).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (February 2021).
Memphis on the Mark (June 2019). Watch it here.
Radio interview on WKNO fm (April 2018).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (March 2017).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (November 2016).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (November 2015).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (November 2014).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (December 2013).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (December 2012).
Radio interview on WKNO fm (November 2012).
Presbyterian Outlook book review (June 28, 2018)
Commercial Appeal article (November 10, 2015)
Memphis Magazine article (November 3,2015)
Commercial Appeal article (February 1, 2012)
Fix Magazine article (September 2011).
Text panel from Dixon Gallery and Gardens show in 2015: