When I was nine years old, pneumonia kept me out of school for a month and my mother gave me paint-by-number kits to keep me busy. That’s how I fell in love with painting. Discovering that colors and paints create worlds was magical to me, and that has never changed.
A mentor once told me that artists work with the same metaphor all their lives, it just shape shifts in form, a statement that has proven true for me. Committed to the practice of painting and drawing, the hand-made mark and the complexities of vision, the heart of my work focuses on basic human connection, and the transitory nature of time is the conceptual foundation.
Art is one of the few places in our culture where we can experience the complexity, ambiguity, and beauty of being human. In an increasingly digitized and consumerist culture, painting offers a synthesized connection between body, mind, and spirit and retains a powerful ability to create moments of basic human connection across time and place.
Born in Providence, RI, Kiely earned her B.F.A. in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A. in painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kiely's studio is in Somerville, MA and she is a Professor of Art at Simmons College in Boston. Exhibitions at galleries and museums include the Brattleboro Museum, VT; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Joseph Carroll & Sons, Boston; Artist’s Space, NY; Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; ZG Gallery, Inc., Chicago; FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL; and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Kiely’s work is represented in private and public collections including Fidelity Corporation, The Boston Athenaeum, The DeCordova Museum and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Awards include two Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowships; Bunting Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University; three MacDowell Colony Fellowships; New England Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship; and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Scholar Fellowship.