Kelly Grace was born in Toronto in the 70's and raised in the rural area of Stouffville, Ontario. Growing up, Kelly was surrounded by creative influences: her paternal grandparents were traveling puppeteers in the local fair and carnival circuit in California in the 1950's, and her grandfather was also a clown and a painter. Both her parents had artistic and creative inclinations and encouraged to pursue her arts education. Kelly continued her arts training at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario where she studied Interpretive Illustration for 3 years. Although she never pursued an illustration career, it was at this school that she developed her style of painting with acrylics. In her final year at Sheridan College, a project focused on ‘phobias’ prompted her to examine the "fear of clowns". Despite the fact that she isn’t actually afraid of clowns, the project allowed her to develop her unique style.
As an artist, Kelly Grace's main goal is to make an impression. She uses painting as her way of interpreting and sharing with the world the beauty that she always sees on a daily basis. If she can convey this beauty accurately to the viewer than she has succeeded. If Kelly's work resonates and stays with a person after they have seen it then she has done her job. As her work is about memories and nostalgia, Kelly hopes that it embodies this timeless feeling of escape and preservation.
Kelly Grace’s works are found in residential and corporate collections nationally.
Kelly Grace explores film narratives, nostalgia, and personal memory in her newest body of work, Between Light and Shadow which marked the progressive development in both thematic clarity and painting in Grace's art as illustrated through her large-scale paintings, works in vintage tins and on paper. Her paintings have a retro, pop art quality but expressed in what the artist calls “a modern voice.”
Ottawa Magazine's Arts and Culture writer Paul Gessel featured Between Light and Shadow.
Visit Kelly Grace’ website here.