Kelly Kruse (b. 1985, Iowa) uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human transience, longing, and suffering. In response to her battle with depression, she developed a visual contemplative practice through which she wrestles with the complexities of faith and theology. Kruse describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like historic artists who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to cultivate the inner world of those who engage her work. Her first exposure to the idea of illumination came when she studied Medieval and Renaissance music in Italy. Her background in classical music and opera puts her in a unique position to explore the intersections between scripture, poetry, musical works, and the visual arts.
She has exhibited her work at galleries and institutions across the country and her work is featured in collections around the world. Recently, she completed her first public commission after winning a nationwide competition at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The commission is installed permanently at the Iversen Center for Faith and explores the complexity of the immortal human soul as inspired by the writings of the apostle Paul.
Kelly lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is Curator of the Four Chapter Gallery and maintains an active private voice studio.
Kelly is a Daler-Rowney sponsored artist.