Atelier presents landscape paintings by Warsaw artist Mike Kelly

Opening Friday at Atelier art gallery is a collection by Mike Kelly. The show is titled "By Feel: The Colorscapes of Mike Kelly," and features 18 oil paintings and 18 pastel works on paper. Photos provided.
News Release

WARSAW — Downtown Warsaw’s contemporary art gallery, Atelier, hits home with its newest show, featuring 36 pieces of artwork by Mike Kelly.

The show, “By Feel: The Colorscapes of Mike Kelly,” opens Friday and includes 18 oil paintings and 18 pastel works on paper.

The show, “By Feel: The Colorscapes of Mike Kelly,” opens Friday and includes 18 oil paintings and 18 pastel works on paper.

As a colorist, Mike Kelly’s primary focus is to use color to evoke mood, light, ambience,
and composition.

Kelly’s work highlights a sensual awareness of his own surroundings and the natural world. His virtuosity with hues manifests in painterly abstracted colorscapes. Kelly’s paintings are emotional moments in time, light, and space, with titles like Kissed It, Cloud, High Key, and Rosy Glow.

“Mike’s paintings use colors that are not representational of what our eyes typically perceive and process in natural landscapes,” Atelier director Sea Grandon says.

“And yet, these paintings accurately portray the feeling of a landscape at a given time — the temperature, angle of light, and amount of breeze or stillness in the air. While we associate color with seeing, here, the colors make us feel that which is real.”

The exhibit will have an opening reception Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Kelly was born in Warsaw in 1943, moved to Chicago for a career in
commercial art, and later returned home to dedicate himself to fine art painting.

He and Grandon met by chance when the artist visited ATELIER. Seeing Kelly’s work, Grandon says she was enchanted by the way he highlights the beauty and wonder that exists all around us if we are perceptive and open to it.

“To have an artist of this caliber walk into the gallery is a gift from the artistic gods,” she says.
“I am thrilled to show the art world and national collectors the paintings of this homegrown talent.”

In curating Kelly’s show, Grandon says she was drawn to the artist’s most
abstracted works. “Mike has been painting landscapes and experimenting with
color and technique for decades,” she says. “When I look at his body of work, the
most experimental pieces are the most compelling to me. His evolution from
representational to abstracted work is exciting and reflects the spontaneity and
freedom that all artists aspire to reach.”

Grandon says she was intrigued by Kelly as an artist because his work has
progressed along with his own personal journey. “Mike has chased many dreams
in his life, but not all dreams can be pursued simultaneously,” Grandon says. “In
this show, I believe we see both the discipline and learning that was required of
him as a husband, father, and provider and, now, the risk-taking and freedom of
his latter years. This new work is bold and unfettered, the culmination of a
romantic life well lived.”