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Artist Bio: Kelly Phelps/Kyle Phelps
Birth Place: Newcastle, Indiana
Education: MFA, University of Kentucky; BFA, Ball State University
Lives and Works: Kelly: Centerville, OH; Kyle: Dayton, OH
Signature Medium(s): Sculpture, Ceramics
Artwork in collection: Eviction Notice
The Phelps brothers received their BFA from Ball State University and MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from University of Kentucky at Lexington. They are currently Associate Professors of fine arts, Kelly at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Kyle at University of Dayton in Ohio. The identical twins work collaboratively to create sculptures and assemblages that utilize elements of metal, fiberglass, wood, found objects, and clay.
Common themes in their art include race and the deterioration of the working class. Through art, the Phelps turned their life experiences into an ongoing advocacy for the blue collar worker, the factory laborer, and the common individual made invisible in our society. During the Spring of 2010, both Kelly and Kyle were awarded research sabbaticals to conduct research and produce a body of work about the modern plight of the blue-collar worker in the United States.
Their work has been exhibited in over 110 juried, solo, invitational, regional, national and international exhibitions. Their most notable exhibition venues include: The Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY; The Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, WY; Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH; American Craft Council Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; and Penland Gallery, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC to name a few.
The Phelps have completed over 75 commissions that include many permanent, private, public and corporate collections including: the NAACP National Headquarters, Brown-Forman Company, Miller and Mead Law Offices, and the private collections of actor Morgan Freeman, director Michael Moore, and musician Bootsy Collins. The most notable public commission includes a life-size bronze statue of the 1960's jazz great, Eric Dolphy, on permanent display on the campus of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.