"As a very young girl, I have always been interested in how the human body moves, works and looks. Always drawing and observing has been as much a part of me as my own hands."
High School recognized her figure drawing abilities which brought attention to multiple colleges. Kelly was offered several scholarship opportunities, she chose Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC studying as a fashion illustrator. Further studies took Kelly to Farmingdale and Cornell Universities in NY for her fine art studies.
After college, Kelly worked as an illustrator and finally found a home in an interesting and challenging art form, Glass Carving. As a glass carving artist, all of her artistic references were used, as well as having an eye as a figure specialist.
Kelly worked as a glass carving artist, designing a line of furniture and art pieces that have been acquired in private homes and corporate collections around the world. Her artistic glass designs have been obtained in such iconic locations such as Madison Square Garden, The Apollo Theater, the New York Hilton just to name a few. Known as the only female glass carver on the east coast of America at the time, Kelly carved a career for over twenty years with adding a softer and sensitive feminine line to design in this male dominated field. Kelly's unique eye for design incorporated bonded glass, stained glass and fabrics into her furniture and art glass pieces. One of a kind designs and stock carved glass furniture made her company a leader in Carved Glass furniture at that time. Working in the Architectural and design field led Kelly to doing decorator inspired paintings as well as Trompe L'oile mural work in New York City and the tri-state, until 2007.
After taking a second residence in Hawaii in 2007, Kelly changed her medium and focus where she returned to her roots of painting the classical figure. "I feel the vivid hues of Hawaii called for color and the only pure color medium I know of is Pastels. I fell in love with the complexity and diversity of Pastels. I really needed to go back to figures and portraits, it was my first love."
In 2011 Kelly and her family moved to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. She continues to reside in New York, Hawaii and Mexico , where she does portraits and works as a private art instructor. Her enthusiasm as an artist, show through all she does as well as her artwork. Her interest in Pre comlumbian art is a a new inspiration in her work.
Kelly has been involved in several art organizations including National Organization for Women in the Arts, Huntington Arts Counsel, South Hampton Arts Organization, Pastel Artists of Hawaii, The Pastel Society of the Southwest and Hawaiian Craftsmen. She has served on the board of Directors of Garden Island Arts Counsel in Kauai, Hawaii and was the President of Kauai Society of Artists in 2010-2011. She enjoys integrating education to express her personal vision of art and developed "KSA Jr", a Children's initiative which mentors and encourages young artists from Grade school to College.
Kelly has also been an avid equestrian and horse trainer for many years. She has owned and run a riding stable in New York, teaching young riders English and Western disciplines for over 15 years. She personally trains in Dressage and continues her equestrian journey.
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ”
― William Shakespeare, Henry V
Kelly's greatest happiness is her family. She is married with three children, all of which are talented and creative people in their own right. Her biggest supporter has always been her husband, Joe Bandalos. Follow her blog for current shows and progression of pieces.