Kathleen Kelley, a Texan native from the Rio Grande Valley, is an artist whose work delves into the intricate relationship between religious devotion and identity. With a BFA in Art Education and an MFA specializing in 2D Art, alongside a certificate in Latin American Art History from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Kathleen uncovers these connections through vibrant mixed media paintings and installations.

Artist Statement

In my process I use a combination of mixed media paintings and sculptures that explore memories, the liminal world of dreams, and religion. Playful scenes of animated characters are set up in a two-dimensional setting with 3D elements that thrust the represented imaginary world into the space of reality. The compositions of the works take inspiration from the execution of space in theatrical scenes between the dimensions of “fictionalized” and “real” space.

​The careful and meticulous construction of figures within imagined worlds draws influence from Surrealistic imagery to reimagine the ideologies taught to me growing up in a strict environment of religious indoctrination. My experience with this extremist, charismatic Evangelical Christian church informs my use of religious iconography. I try to confront and reimagine the radical teachings by implementing a playful representation of divinity and doctrine. Themes of worship and faith are acknowledged in my artistic practice as a form of personal reconciliation, with childhood naivety used as a narrative device. Items that are used in play such as plush teddy bears, cardboard cutouts, and puppet theatre scenes are my chosen props to which I stage my narratives.


M.F.A. in Studio Art/Latin American Art History Certification, UTRGV, Edinburg, Texas, 2023

B.A. in Art Education/Magna Cum Laude, UTRGV, Edinburg, Texas, 2020

Solo Exhibitions

Worlds Within, UTRGV Visual Arts Gallery, Edinburg, TX, March 2023

Group Exhibitions

2nd Annual Members Juried Exhibition, International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS), McAllen, Tx, USA,  2022

​Capirotada, Charles & Dorothy Clark Gallery, Edinburg, Tx, USA, 2022

College Expo 2022, 500X Gallery, Dallas, Tx, USA, 2022

2022 Rising Eyes of Texas,  Rockport Center of the Arts, Rockport, Tx, USA, 2022

Mixed Media RGV, Weslaco Museum, Weslaco, Tx, USA, 2022

A Gathering of Creatives, Comminos Art Studio, Harlingen, Tx, USA, 2021

Piezas, McAllen Art Incubator, McAllen, Tx, USA, 2021

Members Juried Exhibition, International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS), McAllen, Tx, USA, 2021

Mezcla, Upper Valley Art League, Mission, Tx, USA, 2021

Arbitrary Collective, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Tx, USA, 2019

Group Exhibition, Creative Alley Art Studio, Edinburg, Tx, USA, 2018


​rgVision Magazine, Visiting Sophia's Song by Jessica Monroe, McAllen, TX, USA, Nov. 1, 2022

The Monitor: Vida, ‘Capirotada’ at UTRGV Edinburg, McAllen, Tx, USA, March 7, 2022

​Pulse Magazine, Fight Like a Woman, Edinburg, Tx, USA, 2021

Gallery: A Literary & Arts Magazine at UTRGV, The Adventures of ZAR, Edinburg, Tx, USA, 2020

Professional Conferences

2023, Face-to-face Instruction in the Post Pandemic Era:A Case Study of an Art History Core Course, NAEA Conference, San Antonio, Texas


2022-2023   George Truan Scholarship

2020-2022   Wilcox Art Scholarship

2019-2020   M. Thomason Education Scholarship

2019-2020   VPSE Scholarship

2017-2020   President’s List

2016            Dean’s List

© All rights reserved
Using Format