Already a master of drawing, Kelly Yarbrough expects to receive her Masters from Kansas State University, Manhattan, in 2016. Her large and amazing body of work focuses on nature for subjects; her more abstract work clearly finds inspiration in nature as well.
Precision is the essence of her still-life drawings and mixed-media work, in which subjects from the local prairie are portrayed, or the conversation between “order and abandon” is approached. This time it’s all about “Catch and Release”—new work expressing her love for all that nature has to offer and, as always, executed with a sharp eye for essence and a masterful management of technique.
“My work is an appeal to the individual to be present and thoughtful in his or her environment. This is not a call to an action as much as it is to an attitude and continued practice,” says Kelly.
“The prairie is a perfect place in which to establish this appeal because of the ways it challenges perceptions of beauty and value in place. At first glance, a prairie landscape may, at times, appear homogenous, simple, even barren. None of these is true, but because of these misconceptions, the prairie often requires a more engaged relationship in order to understand and appreciate it. The very nature of this place demands the viewer’s habitual presence and constant, careful attention.”
The title “Catch & Release” is meant to show a process as more meaningful than a presentation of one exclusive representation. What is presented is a record of study, exploration and collaboration with the subject. Furthermore, the subjects of this series are objects found by the artist in the Kansas prairie. The objects’ relationships to each other are casual; born of free exploration within this environment. Presented together, however, they exhibit a symbiosis that suggests these individuals also function as a community.
Kelly, a grad student teaching assistant at KSU, studied Studio Art and English at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, before making it to Manhattan, Kansas. The proximity of the tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills drew her outdoors and helped her focus on the beauty and unique “designs” to be found in nature.
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