Kelly Kruse (b. 1985, Iowa) uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human transience, longing, and suffering. She developed a visual devotional practice as a response to her battle with depression, through which she wrestles with beauty, history, and theology. Kruse describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like the medieval monks who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to awake in the viewer a sense of spiritual contemplation. 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.
In addition to her painting practice, Kelly is an active classical musician and maintains a private studio as a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Kelly is a Daler-Rowney sponsored artist.