Artist Statement -

The primary direction of my work is dedicated to the visual representation of past literary works, historical figures, myths, and stories which are partially lost to time. In the space between the event and our current time there are gaps in perception, memory, materials and history that we fill with how we interpret our present world. The cultural, physical, and philosophical space in which we inhabit is the modifier of how our past is seen and the indicator of the direction of our future. We cannot help but to see the past through the lenses of our time and because of this the past can appear to be a strange and at times unknowable place.

I address the space between history and contemporary perception by making surfaces that are variously layered, abraded, stained, cleaned, collaged with found objects and over-painted. An eroding wall surface that has been subject to the vagaries of time is analogous to the way the space of the past is perceived in the present. In the worn surface we can see the march of time and ponder the various ways in which the surface was affected by time. Ideas of support or ruin, asset or liability, progress or decay can all be seen in such surfaces at various times.

I have taken on an ongoing project to bring visual expression to the surviving work of the Greek lyric poet Sappho. Her work survives as fragmentary traces of intense verbal imagery and metaphor. The nature of her surviving work as parts isolated from their original context matches well with my process and had provided me with a rich source of material from which to interpret as visual imagery.

Tom Kelly is a self-taught mixed-media visual artist. His work has been shown regionally in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky as well as in the the global Slideluck Potshow. Kelly cites the lyric writing of Sappho, Waits/Brennan, Leonard Cohen, the re-use of everyday objects, ancient history, and the poetry of Thomas Gray, William Butler Yeats, and Theodore Roethke as inspirations for his work. His paintings appear in private collections in London, Washington DC, Arizona, and in Ohio. In the Fall of 2008 he made his museum debut at the Southern Ohio Museum for his "if not, winter" series of works on paper. In 2011 he was named a finalist for a Greater Columbus Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship.

Artist Exhibitions

Current/Upcoming Shows:

Gallery, Juried and Museum Show History
(Columbus, Ohio unless otherwise indicated)

8 Deadly Sins
MadLab Gallery
September 2004

Gerlach Hall
Fisher College of Business
The Ohio State University
11/04 2004 - 5/05 2005

ACME Art Co.
Members Show
1/22-2/27 2005

Kirsten Bowen Gallery
Bexley, Ohio
Eclectic Palette
5/12-6/4 2005

Gallery Roulette
5/12-6/4 2005

ACME Art Co.
Short North
6/4-8/31, 2005

6/18-7/18, 2005

Kirsten Bowen Gallery
Summer Salon
6/24-7/23 2005

Covington, KY
words and form
8/5-9/1 2005

10/1-11/20 2005

Fond of the Found
3/3-3/28 2006

Fringe Festival
5/4-5/27 2006

Objet d'Art
8/26-9/16 2006

Ohio Art League
2006 Fall Juried Exhibition
8/31-10/6 2006

Ohio Art League Gallery
Thumb Box
12/1-12/21 2006

ROY G BIV Gallery
Small Works
12/2-12/22 2006

Marx Studios Gallery
Making the Marx
Covington, KY
2/2-2/28 2007

Greenwich Gallery Upstairs
Capital Art:
Columbus Artists Exposed
Cincinnati, Ohio
4/21-5/20 2007

It Aint Easy Being Green
4/21-4/29 2007

Northwood Arts Space at The Ohio State University
White & Wood
5/31-6/29 2007

Terra Gallery
Salon Show
6/2-7/1 2007

8/4-8/31 2007

Southgate House Gallery
Newport, KY
Recent Work: 2004-2007
8/7-9/1 2007

Greenwich Gallery
Cincinnati, Ohio
9/29-10/28 2007

MadLab Gallery
Dark Side of the Lab
10/13-11/6 2007

Ohio Art League Gallery
Thumb Box
12/1-12/22 2007

ROY G BIV Gallery For Emerging Artists
Small Works
12/1-12/20 2007

Synthetica Gallery
Cincinnati, Ohio
Minimum>Magnitude II
12/1-12/23 2007

Visual Awakenings...
Cincinnati, Ohio
2/8-3/9 2008

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Pulp Art / Works on Paper presented by Friends of the Library and ROY G BIV Gallery
2/11-3/29 2008

Kind of Blue
4/5-4/19 2008

Springfield Museum of Art
Springfield, Ohio
Ohio Art League Spring Juried Exhibition
4/24-6/24 2008

Southern Ohio Museum
Portsmouth, Ohio
Distilled: A fresh look at abstract art
10/18-12/21 2008

ROY G BIV Gallery
Small Works
December 2008

Ohio Art League Gallery
Thumb Box
December 2008

Ohio Art League Gallery
Function to Form
with Yvette van der Velde
January 2009

MadLab Gallery
New Year, Old Resolutions
February 2009

Tom Kelly and Kathleen Pepicello
The Root Art Center
Mt. Vernon, Ohio
March 2009

Gallery 1879
Stuart's Opera House
Nelsonville, Ohio
May 2009

Mansfield Art Center
64th Annual May Show
Mansfield, Ohio
April 26-May 29 2009

ROY G BIV Gallery at the
Columbus Metropolitan Library Carnegie Gallery
Pulp Art II
May 14-June 28, 2009

No right, no wrong: The world of abstract art
High Road Gallery
Worthington, Ohio
June 3-27, 2009

Rachel Jernigan and Tom Kelly
MadLab Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
Aug. 6-29, 2009

Official Showcase
Synthetica Gallery
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sept. 2009

with Brenda Stumpf
Eva G. Faris Gallery
Thomas More College
Crestview, KY
Sept. 25-Oct. 15, 2009

Small Works
ROY G BIV Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
December 2009

MadLab Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
March 2010

Seeing Red
MadLab Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
April-May 2010

Borrowed Words
Roy G. Biv Gallery Works on Paper Exhibition
The Columbus Metropolitan Library
May 3-June 16 2010

Elegies and Vestiges
The Arts Initiative
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
October-November 2010

Small Works
ROY G. BIV Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
December 2010

Mellow Yellow
MadLab Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
April 2011

The 66th Annual May Show
Mansfield Art Center
Mansfield, Ohio
May 1-June 5 2011

Life, Love, and Death
MadLab Gallery
7/23-8/27, 2011

Small Works
ROY G BIV Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
December 2011

Invisible Gallery
219 King Ave
Columbus, OH 43201
Dec.16, 17 and 18, 2011

OHIOCENTRIC: City Center Gallery's All-Ohio Juried Exhibition
OSU Urban Arts Space
Feb. 18-March 24th 2012

MadLab Gallery Annual Color Show
MadLab Gallery
March 31, 2011-April 28, 2012

the greatest thing on the black earth
It looks like it's open
Columbus, Ohio
April 21 and 22, 2012

Along 71
A traveling show for the Cleveland West Art Leage and the Ohio Art League
Cleveland July 20-August 17
Columbus Sept. 6-28

Tall Walls
August 3-24, 2012
Loren Naji Gallery
Cleveland, Ohio

Self-portrait group exhibit
Invisible Gallery
Sept. 28-30, 2012

A shifting world of light and darkness
Sean Christopher Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
October 2012

The outer edges of reality
ABX at High Road Gallery
High Road Gallery
Worthington, Ohio
Sept. 26-Oct. 20 2012

Small Works
ROY G BIV Gallery
December 2012

Art Inter/National
Boxheart Gallery
Pittsburgh, PA
Jan.8-Feb. 2 2013

The end of words
Homeport Gallery
July 12th-August 25th 2013

OSU Hillel
Jewish Student Services Center
The Ohio State University
September - December 2013

May Show 2014
Mansfield Art Center
April 27-June 1, 2014

Again I leapt and wandered
Nine Muses Art Gallery
Barberton, OH
Aug. 27th-Oct. 17th 2014

Doubting Thomas Gallery
November 14-December 5 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

The Dream and The Dreamer
November 14-December 12 2014
The Vanderelli Room

You cut up the past to know the future
solo exhibit
Gallery Denamrk
March 2015

Events History
(Columbus, OH unless otherwise indicated)

October 25, 2003
Have My Baby Lee Krasner
Supraphonic Recording Studio

March 6, 2004
Music and Art Show I
Supraphonic Recording Studio

June 12, 2004
Music and Art Show II
Supraphonic Recording Studio

September 25, 2004
Music and Art Show V
Supraphonic Recording Studio

December 17, 2004
Music and Art Show VIII
Supraphonic Recording Studio

July 2, 2005
WCBE Benefit
Little Brother's

July 23, 2005

November 12, 2005
SHOW Columbus
The Vault

February 19, 2006
Art with a Heart Benefit
Surly Girl Gallery Upstairs

June 15, 2006
Seratonic Art and Music Fest
Columbus Clay Co.

July 15, 2006

July 22, 2006
Seratonic II
Columbus Clay Co.

October 20, 2006
One Night: Suite
Fundraiser for The Ohio Art League

October 20, 2006

Sugar Bar

December 2, 2006
Art Auction
The Gallery Upstairs

April 28, 2007
Agora Columbus II
Junctionview Studios

June 2-16, 2007
Iron Artist

July 21, 2007

August 3, 2007
Slideluck Potshow
Wexner Center for the Arts

Sat. Oct. 13, 2007
Agora Columbus III
Junctionview Studios

Sat. Oct. 19 2007
One Night: Suite'r
Huntington National Bank Building
Benefit for the Ohio Art League

Sat. Nov. 24th 2007
Spark: a hang it yourself art free for all
Junctionview Studios

Sat. Dec. 29th 2007
Spark: a hang it yourself art free for all
Junctionview Studios

Sat. Feb. 23rd 2008
Spark: a hang it yourself art free for all
Junctionview Studios

Tue. April 1 2008
Junctionview Studios

Sat. April 19 2008
Agora Columbus
Junctionview Studios

Sat. May 10 2008
Second Saturdays
The Pillow Project @ The Space Upstairs
Pittsburgh, PA

Wed. June 18 2008
art + music w/ Panicsville and Lovely Little Girls
Skylab Gallery

Friday, October 10 2008
One Night High
OAL Benefit

Saturday, October 18 2008
Agora Columbus
Junctionview Studios

Friday, November 7 2008
Art of Recovery
benefit for The Fresh AIR Gallery
Design Marketplace

Saturday, December 13 2008
C Note Art Show
Junctionview Studios

Saturday, January 10 2009
Junctionview Studios

Friday May 15 - Saturday, May 16, 2009
Junctionview Studios

Go West!
Franklinton, OH
empty building takeover
Saturday, May 30 4-9pm

C-note Art Show
Junctionview Studios
Columbus, Ohio
Saturday, April 10 2010

Art for Life
Benefit for the Columbus AIDS Task Force
September 25, 2010.

Art of Recovery
Benefit for the Fresh AIR Gallery
Design Marketplace
November 5, 2010

Art of Recovery
Benefit for the Fresh AIR Gallery
Design Marketplace
November 4, 2011

Stupid Cupid > the ALT-Valentine's Day Party
Saturday, February 11 2012

Agora 9
Junctionview Studios
Friday, May 11-Saturday, May 12 2012

Columbus Local
400 West Rich Street
Friday, June 1-Saturday, June 2 2012

Art of Recovery
Benefit for the Fresh AIR Gallery
November 9, 2012
Design Marketplace

Agora X
Saturday, April 13 2013
Junctionview Studios

Art of Recovery
Fresh AIR Gallery Benefit
Hilton Columbus
Friday, November 8th 2013

Dark Love
Strongwater Gallery
Columbus, Ohio
February 14, 2014

Group show
Doucet and Associates Co., L.P.A.
Columbus, OH 43017
July 22, 2014

Never leave the stream of warm impermanence
Christin Hutchinson and Tom Kelly
Urban Office Furnishings
May 15 2015

Venue Exhibits History
(Columbus, OH unless otherwise indicated)

October 2004 The Waiting Room
Nov. 20-Dec. 31 2004 Benevolence
January 1-March 18 2005 McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.
April 14 - May 14, 2005 Lemongrass Asian Bistro
May 6-19, 2005 Kafe Kerouac
July 1-August 6, 2005 State Farm Insurance
July 31-Sept. 4, 2005 Stauf's Coffee Roasters
Nov.-Dec., 2005 2Co's Cabaret
Nov. 23-Jan. 31, 2005 St. James Tavern
Nov. 6, 2006 - Jan. 31, 2007 St. James Tavern
June 29, 2007 Gina's Hair Salon
August 2007 Cafe Brioso
Oct. 6, 2007 IDSA Columbus Reception at Lextant Corp.
Smith Bros. Hardware Building
Nov. 1-28, 2007 Image Optical
Dec. 16, 2007-Jan. 25, 2008 Stauf's Coffee Roasters
March 1-31, 2008 Haiku
April 1-May 14, 2008 GRIP Technology
April 8-Dec. 31, 2008 Integrate Inc.
September 2008 The Arlington Bank
February 2009 Image Optical
May 2009-April 2010 Facility Source
October 2009 Bristol Bar
December 2009 Image Optical
December 2009-May 2010 The Gillespie Law Group
April 2011 Cafe Brioso
August 2011 Benefit for Starfish Alliance Cafe Brioso
October 2011 Le Chocoholique
February 2012 Utrecht Art Supplies
October 2013 Urban Office Furnishings
July-August 2014 St. James Tavern


Artist Publications


Found objects

"Function to Form" -- at the Ohio Art League, 954 N. High St. -- will display works by Tom Kelly and Yvette van der Velde.

Both use found objects but with different perspectives.

Kelly sometimes finds his objects in nondescript places -- "non-places," as he says.

"I liken their use in my work to how an individual unifies the many influences, memories, stimuli, subconscious impulses and other factors that build particular facets of his or her personality," he says in an artist's statement.

Van der Velde creates pieces "to remember moments, relationships or feelings in life. . . . My current work features assemblages made from pieces of my house. In this way, the documentation I seek takes on an autobiographical approach."

A reception will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Columbus Alive 1/15/09

Function junction
Thursday, January 15, 2009 5:54 AM
By Tracy Zollinger Turner

When Yvette van der Velde was remodeling her house, she plundered its discarded material for treasure. She wasn't searching for antique fixtures or lost jewelry, but for scraps of wood, rusted screws and nails, torn bits of fabric and old wallpaper. The material value wasn't the point - it was the aesthetic, historic and narrative value that the items could bring to her multimedia assemblages.

Several of the resulting constructions make up half of the Function to Form exhibit at the Ohio Art League this month.

"We wanted to do a show about how two different artists go about using found objects in their work," said Tom Kelly, whose multimedia pieces make up the other half of the show. "Her work is more autobiographical, mine is more abstract."

While van der Velde makes her work out of the stuff under the floors and inside of the walls, Kelly finds most of his materials in urban detritus. He scouts items that have been chucked to the curb or abandoned near wire fences in the city. Their pieces complement each other, exhibited side-by-side instead of on separate walls.

Van der Velde began making sculptural assemblages when she was a CCAD student. Her major was photography, but after graduating in 2002, she found that the multimedia work was a more affordable, sustainable form of art-making.

"It was kind of a different way, or a different reason for making art, and I really enjoyed doing it," said van der Velde. As she tore things up in her house a couple of years ago, she found that "there was so much to be discovered ... I found myself wondering about the history of the people who have lived there before."

Her pieces have a gentle, yellowed and nostalgic quality. They impart a broad sense of narrative, leaving the details up to the viewer. They are composed of cords and strings, faint blueprints, Plexiglas and wires.

"A couple of them do have more of a specific story, but generally nothing that I would want to share publicly," said van der Velde. "I think the way I've put them together, it's visually appealing and sort of transcends the need to know exactly what I was thinking."

She shares that broadly, a few of the pieces in the show have to do with her desire to move out of her Plain City house, and back into a more urban lifestyle.

Kelly began painting and drawing as a child, but took detours through more formal career paths before making art to show publicly five years ago. He's since exhibited locally and regionally, including a recent exhibit at the South Ohio Museum.

Several of Kelly's pieces in Function to Form were composed as he read The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan, about a "self-made, self-actualized" mathematical prodigy.

The Rigour of Proof has metal pieces integrated into it that seem to mimic mathematical diagrams, and faint evidence of text and vectors hazily visible beneath a thin layer of paint, but that's probably the most literal of his pieces, which also leave most of the interpretation up to the viewer.

For a couple of the show's prominent works, Kelly collected artificial flowers from friends and incorporated them into his canvas, painting them all one color. His black Gometra is one of the show's highlights, named for the house where Ramanujan poured out his last body of work before dying of tuberculosis.

"Most of the work I do is somewhat influenced by what I'm reading at the time - history, mythology, books that are referential," said Kelly, adding, "Or stories my friends tell me ... or funny lyrics in songs."

Mount Vernon News, Friday March 6, 2009

Root Art Center hosting Kelly and Pepicello

Mark Jordon
News Staff Reporter

Mount Vernon -- Tom Kelly and Kathleen Pepicello will be the featured artists in March at the Root Art Center, downtown. The two artists will be present at an opening reception today from 6 to 9pm.

Tom Kelly is a self-taught mixed-media visual artist living and working in Columbus. His work has been show regionally in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky as well as in the global Slideluck Potshow. Kelly cites the lyric writing of Sappho, Waits/Brennan, Leonard Cohen, the re-use of everyday objects, Celtic and Roman history, and the poetry of Thomas Gray, William Butler Yeats and Theodore Roethke as inspirations for his work. His work appears in private collections in London, Washington DC, Arizona and in Ohio. In the Fall of 2008 he made his museum debut at the Southern Ohio Museum for his "if not, winter" series of works on paper.

Kelly works mainly with mixed-media paintings and three-dimensional mixed-media assemblages composed of found metal, wood, clothing, plastic and paper.

"I find the inner and exterior exploration of the use of discarded objects as a means of expression interesting," Kelly said. The artist said that he finds these objects in and near home, gathering them from "forgotten spots" in his house and yard and from industrial areas.

Columbus artist Kathleen Pepicello has had solo exhibitions at such galleries as the Ohio Art League Gallery, Haiku, Blowfish, Ottawa Ridge and Canzani Hall Gallery in Columbus. She has participated in group shows throughout the state of Ohio.

Pepicello feels that there is an interconnectedness to all life that is possible to experience firsthand.

"It is a choiceless event that wounds as well as delights," Pepicello said. "No descriptive language that can be 'spoken openly' or representative image fully expresses it."

The opening reception will take place at the Root Art Center, 212 S. Main St. in Mount Vernon, today from 6 to 9pm. Visit for further information or call 740-326-3126.

Indie blog review of 64th Annual May Show at Mansfield Art Center:

October 2009
Elegy and the The Romantic Mood
interpreting two artists' works in the light of the Romantic era

Artist Collections

Paula Sondej (Col., OH)
Adam Roslovic (Col.)
Kelly Downes (Col.)
Lori Benz (Col.)
Keith Novicki (Col.)
Kae Denino (Col.)
Jaime Hesper (Oakland, CA)
Britt Ruland (Olympia, WA)
Andrea Cambern (Santa Barbara, CA)
Marc and Angel Lincewicz (Col.)
David Powell, M.D. (Col.)
Elizabeth Collins (Col. )
Todd Cissel (London, UK )
David Gentilini (Col., OH)
Kim Leddy (Col.)
Inktank (Cin., OH)
Ben Lamb (Col., OH)
Scott and Stephanie Milburn (Col.)
Abbey Carter (Col.)
Dave and Mona Barber (Col.)
M. R. Minich (Col.)
Richard Gallagher (Col.)
Heidi Palermo (Col.)
Hani Hara (Col.)
Jennifer Feld (Cin., OH)
Anne Ward (Col.)
Bob and Maggie Blackwell (Scotsdale. AZ)
Jim Wilson (Col.,OH)
Mike Brown (Col.)
Linda Wade (Col.)
Cindy Hilsheimer (New Albany, OH)
Carmen Combs (Col.)
Crystal Bolon (Col.)
John Galvin (Col.)
Brian Weaver (Col.)
Rob Jones (Col.)
Tuesday Spangler (Col.)
Kim Glover (Col.)
Betty Collings (Upper Arlington, OH)
Yvette van der Velde (Detroit, MI)
Jean Pittman (Col.)
David Hesser (Col.)
Nicole Langille (Las Vegas, NV)
Shawn Rappaport (Col.)
Angela McClellan (Col.)
Lucy Seabrook (Upper Arlington, OH)
Chris and Christine Barber (Col.)
Blair Beavers and Leigh Ann Simms (Col.)
Shawn Rappaport (Col.)
Valerie Acton (Col.)...

Artist Favorites