1 May 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Artist who Collaborated with Attack Theatre and PSO Returns to Art Scene after 13-Year Hiatus
Prior to this year, the last time Pittsburgh saw the work of visual artist Kelly Eckert (formerly known as Ana Kelly) was in a collaboration with Attack Theatre and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2005 for a one-night performance called “the 31st chair.” This was the final performance at the Hazlett Theater before it closed for renovations and reopened as the New Hazlett Theater in 2006.
After spending the past 13 years raising a family—two daughters (aged 23 and 21) and a son (aged 11)—Eckert has returned to the art scene with a new exhibition opening at Commonplace Mexican War Streets on May 4th.
While she says her art maintains the same themes throughout her work, Eckert’s work has evolved in its tone and technique. “I create around the themes of separation and transformation,” Eckert says. “My first show, ‘dotted lines,’ was inspired by the separation between my daughters and me when they were briefly living with their dad after our divorce. My current work—for example ‘in you i’m lost’ and ‘present tense’—has been inspired by my separation and divorce from my second husband, and how I have transformed as both an artist and a woman.”
Eckert’s early works were primarily abstracts on canvas—in addition to installation pieces and short films. Now she has added photography to her repertoire.
“I still paint, of course—abstracts, acrylic and paper on canvas. But my current series, called ‘war paint,’ is an exploration of painting on myself and photographing the results. I am my own canvas,” Eckert says. “The purpose of ‘war paint’ is to express parts of me the viewer hasn’t seen before, to reveal the inner warrior, to stand my ground, and to inspire the viewer to do the same.”
Eckert moved to Pittsburgh from Houston, TX, in 2001 and hit the local art scene with a bang. She got her first solo exhibition, under the professional name Ana Kelly, at Boxheart Gallery in Bloomfield in 2003. She had another solo exhibition at the Quiet Storm in East Liberty and at 937 Penn Downtown. Her work was seen in numerous group shows around Pittsburgh, as well as in Brooklyn, NY, and in Houston, TX. Her short film, “dotted lines,” was selected for the inaugural Three Rivers Film Festival in 2003.
Her current exhibition, “present tense,” can be seen at Commonplace Mexican War Streets at 1501 Buena Vista Street through the end of June.
You can view Eckert’s work at www.kellyeckert.art and on Instagram @metaphorikelly.