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2D Mixed Media

Kelly Nicole Gardner
Mixed Media
Eufawla, AL
Instagram: @KNGardnerArt
Facebook: @KellyNicoleOlzyk

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I am a contemporary mixed media artist. My paintings intertwine things that I love or have loved as a child. I weave these moments into my work, making every piece radiate with memories and emotions. I was born and raised in the south and spent my teenage and young adult years in Northeastern Pennsylvania where I studied Graphic Design and worked as a gallery curator.  In 2014, I moved back to Alabama and work as a full time artist and art teacher at The Lakeside School.

My method shows the breakdown of layers and how that transcends through to memories and experiences. I use a deterioration process that “reveals the beauty that exists through destruction, which is throughout our lives; it is our perspective that makes it reality”.

“When I think of the layers of the painting, I think of how that represents the layers in someone’s life. There is good and bad, important and trivial. There are decisions that take you on a certain path and mistakes that take you on another. I look at my work from the story it tells, the life that it has lead. One of my main materials is recycled newspaper. I use it because it tells so much of everyday life that is here one moment and gone the next. The paper shows the day to day life as we know it. There are tragedies and triumphs, events of vast importance and the unessential. I mold the paper as if done by parents, by society or by one’s own unrealistic expectations. After the paper dries, the painting begins. Layer upon layer, covering up the past. Sometimes it stays hidden and sometimes it comes through as a constant reminder. As in life, age and deterioration set in, so I sand away the paper. What comes off is sometimes on purpose and sometimes it is a consequence of a previous step I have taken. There are choices and there are mistakes. When the painting is done, you see more than a painting. You see life. In all its paths and decisions. In the start and at the end. Yet through the pain and hardship, you see beauty. A beauty that is not traditional or expected. A beauty that has only manifested because of the destruction.  The imperfect perfection.”

2023 Festival

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Moss Rock Festival

November 2-3, 2024