Kelly Sullivan [NRA 2014-2022]

Kelly Sullivan

First name:  Kelly ;
Middle name:
Last name:
  Sullivan ;

Member: Non-resident artist member ;
2014 ;
2022 ;


Kelly Sullivan is an arts crusader.

Born and raised in Clinton Township, New Jersey, Sullivan knew she would be an artist when she was five years old, the year her grandmother surrounded her with paint and repeated simple but encouraging words:  “Don’t be shy with the paint,” a refrain that stuck.

In her early years Sullivan focused on musical portraiture, painting those that inspired her, including Bruce Springsteen, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Pete Seeger, Jimmy Rogers and more. Her musical works graced the walls of BB Kings Blues Club in New York for years and showed in the Ambassador Gallery in Soho along side that of Jerry Garcia and Ron Wood.

Sullivan began producing multi-artist/discipline shows in the 1980’s that evolved into hands-on experiential events featuring working studios set up to introduce inner-city kids to the power of art.  Forced to worked under the constraints of a tight budget to provide a “painting experience” for guests over a week-long festival, Sullivan invented a collaborative way of painting she called FingerSmears®. Incorporating hundreds of painters, FingerSmears® use only one canvas, and no brushes.




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Document information

Document permalink: 74962

Digital-born document number:

Record birth date:
December 28, 2019

Last updated: February 11, 2024 at 14:31 pm

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