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Thomas Kelly
Hamilton, NJ

Artwork Details
Memory Motel

acrylic on canvas
28" x 28"

Thomas Kelly is an award-winning New Jersey-based painter. Widely collected, his work has a signature style which has its roots in expressionism. His colorful, narrative, acrylic paintings on canvas often create a dialogue with the viewer. His deceptively simplistic paintings are both critically acclaimed and very popular with everyday viewers. Kelly works from small sketches and says, "My tiny original sketch can usually be overlaid right onto the finished painting. That is how close I stick to the original idea. That is what I wish to portray, that raw sketch is what first fascinated me."

"I was blessed with early mentoring and some early success, which was huge," says Kelly. "I find artists, teachers, and many connected in the arts to be tremendously nurturing to young artists. The young artists who need guidance just have to listen a little bit. Luckily I was a blank sheet and coachable. The Trenton (NJ) Artist Workshop Association was instrumental in giving me confidence to show my work, and guidance on how to promote the work to be seen. With a TAWA invitational I was given an entire gallery for a solo show at the Trenton City Museum. This was in 1998. I showed twenty paintings, the work got terrific reactions; terrific press and we even sold a couple of pieces. From the Trenton Museum show, I was also blessed to find a dealer early on, who loved the work and was a true champion of both the work and the artist. This was C.J. Mugavero of The Artful Deposit Gallery in Bordentown. She took me into her stable and promoted the work. With her support I flourished and prepared for my second solo show in 1999. The show went well and we were off.

"We are lucky enough to say that something like 80% of my paintings are collected. There are more than 250 pieces in people's collections. So I think we are on the right path. We are connecting with galleries outside of this central NJ area and are getting a good response. We are blessed with at least 50 collectors who own more than one painting. We are succeeding in getting the work out there. It is a long road, but a very satisfying road.

"I have thought long about my artist's statement recently as I have been reaching out to new arenas. I am not and do not wish to be the artist with the best technical skill, recreating realism that wows the masses. I wish to be the one who connects well with the way people feel. I wish to have the viewer say about themselves, when they see my art, 'This is about me, this is about my life.' This is how I wish to connect. The feedback given from collectors who absolutely had to have a piece because it meshed so well with their lives is truly extraordinary. The personal insight viewers offer could not be gained by a landscape, still life, or portrait. The universal feelings we all have is what I am trying to portray.

"I am a hardworking, blue-collar painter from New Jersey. Work hard and good things will come. I am able to live with any of my paintings because I paint what I know and paint what I love."

Thomas Kelly is represented by:The Artful Deposit Gallery in Borderntown (continous since 1999) as well as by the Bluestone Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA, and Bethlehem House Gallery, Bethlehem, PA.

Thomas Kelly's work be viewed at:

The Artful Deposit Gallery
142 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Tel: 609-298-6970

Mr. Kelly's representation there has been continuous since 1999.