Mixed-media artist KellyAnne Terry’s abstract paintings, on display in April at the Lewistown Art Center, are grounded in a sense of place and a hunger for adventure. Described as “a form of literary art,” these compositions reflect the past, far-flung destinations, discovery, and historic writings.
Working primarily in acrylic, the Lewistown artist uses vintage papers, antique ephemera and out-of-print books to tell a story in each of her pieces.
Terry grew up on a horse ranch in North Central Montana and finds fodder for her art in the natural world, travel, the sketchbooks and notebooks of early explorers and historic figures, flea markets, and most of all, the written word. She was a librarian for 10 years, and says close proximity to books at the Lewistown Public Library influenced her work. “We have a great local and western history collection, and I loved the old photos and handwritten works.”
She titled her show “Elsewhere” to invoke “a sense of travel, of being somewhere different, daydreaming, planning and creating, a hope for the future but also a reverence for the past.”
In addition to earning two master’s degrees – one in English literature and another in organizational leadership – Terry was awarded the Women Leading Montana Award in 2018 for her work in bringing a women’s leadership conference to Central Montana.
Not surprisingly, her work is often inspired by women, including Gertrude Bell, the great English woman explorer who mapped and negotiated the boundaries of Iraq in the 1920s, Isabelle Eberhardt, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Virginia Woolf, Lady Jane Franklin, Mary Shelley, “and all the explorers and early naturalists.”
She also writes essays and creative nonfiction and plans to launch a blog “on art, life and learning” this spring. She currently manages the historic Calvert Hotel, and her mixed-media works hang on its walls.
– Kristi Niemeyer