Kelley Meister

Visual Artist, US

Kelley Meister (pronouns: ze/hir/hirs) received an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2008 and continues to live and work in Minneapolis. Kelley’s work has been shown throughout the US, including at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis; Counterpulse Festival in San Francisco; and Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Hir work has been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Kelley also works as a teaching artist in schools, libraries, museums/cultural production centers, and community centers throughout Minnesota with COMPAS and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Kelley is a multidisciplinary artist whose work combines drawing, sculpture, video, and performance into multimedia installations and films. Kelley’s body of work investigates and calls attention to this moment in geological history where the planet is shifted by the indelible touch of humans. This work centers on a search for empathy for those whose lives have been irreversibly impacted by climate change, war, famine, and other challenges. Kelley utilizes the process of scientific observation of the world around us, yet as a queer artist, ze chooses to infuse this observation with the emotional responses that come up rather than stifle them to present a neutral position. Hir work interrogates the cultural acceptance of our trajectory and raises questions about our effects on our ecosystems and future generations.

Learn more:

Kelley Meister was in residence from November 12 to December 10, 2019 in partnership with the Jerome Foundation.

The Atomic Tourist stands facing left, looking out, dressed in assorted neon yellows, holding a Geiger. Photo made in collaboration with Jaffa Aharonov.

Last Vacation Before the End of the World

During the residency at Camargo, ze spent time synthesizing hir research and developing new work as part of the multi-part project Last Vacation Before the End of the World. Utilizing the research from hir Jerome Travel and Study trip to nuclear test sites and waste depositories in Nevada and New Mexico last spring, this work was a multimedia response to our ongoing nuclear arsenal, questions of containment and disposal of nuclear waste, and the tourism industry that surrounds our nuclear production and history. A site visit to France’s International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor nearby, was a part of hir residency at Camargo.