Our Artists - Rea Kelly

Rea Kelly is a Niagara Falls, Ontario born practicing artist whose work is based in St. Catharines. She is a recent graduate of Brock University's Studio Art program and a current employee at the Niagara Artists Centre. Rea is pursuing personal projects and artwork that has been shown in exhibitions around the Niagara Region. In 2019, Rea was nominated for a St. Catharines Art Award in the Emerging Artist Category and was nominated by the Brock Visual Arts Department for the BMO 1st Art! Competition in 2021. Much of her work deals with the sense of self and identity, memory, as well as the psychological. She likes to deal with these themes through the figure, portraiture, and architecture and works primarily within drawing and painting.

Much of my art practice is rooted in exploring and experimenting with the portraiture genre. I am interested in how humans and emotions are portrayed in portraits; how the human face can be challenged to reveal something beyond a superficial understanding of facial features. Through my work, I use the human face and form as a means to understand one's identity and to visually express the more unflattering natures of the experience of human emotion. The psychology of the figure takes precedence over any kind of accurate visual representation, as I challenge the viewer's pre-conceived notions of what portrait art is and what it could mean.