Bemis School of Art

Tara Kelley-Cruz

Visiting Artist

Tara Kelley-Cruz’s work relies heavily on form, color and texture and deals with the question of what things in our history shape who we are as individuals and as a culture. Her latest series of work contains themes of hope, isolation, fantasy, escape, seeking direction, and finding beauty in the turbulence of life.

As a mixed-media painter, her process includes creating at least 10-12 layers of paint, found ephemera, image transfers and drawings. between layers, she scrapes and sands into the painting. Earlier layers are revealed and the surface begins to take on rich, textured life of its own with its own history. This is symbolic for her of our own history and what thoughts, beliefs, messages and marks we have adopted that have shaped who we are.

Kelley-Cruz has developed visual symbols which mean certain things to her: connection, seeking for direction, spiritual enlightenment, confusion, progression.

Tara Kelley-Cruz was born in Amarillo, Texas and currently lives and works in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University. She has gone on to continue her education in painting, studying under artists such as Krista Harris, Nicholas Wilton and Bibby Gignilliat.

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