The Soft Place by Kellie Lehr

My work is an amalgamation of real and imagined images. I’m interested in creating sensations of movement and visual rhythm that feel caught in states of either becoming or dissolving.
My source material often comes from the natural landscape, and I use it as a jumping-off point. I combine this with an ongoing questioning of the impact of technology and underlying psychological states. Surprisingly, I’ve noticed my work has become brighter and more whimsical as the world has become darker and more dystopian.

Edges play an essential role – both soft and dissolving, as well as hard and abrupt; the place where one thing ends, and another begins; the soft place to fall and the wakeup call. Forms, as well as negative space, often become structures with patterns to be explored and questioned. The result of my process is an image that usually lies somewhere between reality and fantasy, digital and natural, and confusion and clarity.

Painting by Kellie Lehr

Unavoidable Mistakes by Kellie Lehr

The Split by Kellie Lehr

Painting by Kellie Lehr

Kellie Lehr is an artist living in Fayetteville, AR. Lehr holds a B.S. in International Economics and spent 2013–2018 studying in the Drawing and Painting program at the University of Arkansas. In 2019, she was selected for Art File by The Painting Center in New York and the 2019-2020 National Museum of Women in the Arts juried registry by it’s Arkansas committee. Recent exhibitions include 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR and the 59th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Tapped at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnatti and New Optics at The Painting Center in NYC. Her work is in private collections throughout Arkansas, California, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New York.
Lehr is the Gallery Director for 211 South (formerly The Gallery at Midtown), a contemporary art gallery located within Engel & Volkers NWA at 211 South Main St. in Bentonville, AR.

Roots

A dying tree will send out defense signals to its nearby seedlings to give advice on survival. When a tree is wanting of carbon, a nearby tree will share what it has. A tree can even recognize its own kin and be a little more generous in its giving. Sometimes, a tree can also die of heartbreak when its best friend dies. Because no tree is an island. Because living should never be lonely.

Imagine, underneath our feet, millions of arms holding onto one another. Imagine, our branches stretching towards the sky in a giant yawn, like parachutes, as they descend like dandelion seeds, and we have yet to know. Imagine, an aftermath of cut torsos and charred gums. Imagine, my love, blindly looking for your annihilated hands. Because we cannot run. We have roots.

Artwork by Michael Wolf “Architecture of Density #39” 2005.

When We Go

By Bhrigu Kumar Bhatra

we
start
small, with
walks around the
perimeter and
we get a feel for the art of
stewardship magic, flora in our steading breathing
in gales of ozone storm breath and salt sea breath, whispering out cool velvet oxygen
we raise a cairn together, next to fairy forts at the cliff, whose chalky body gleams
in the dying dusklight, waiting for the dawn when the
coracle comes and we’ll find at
the beach ambergris,
hopefully,
before
we
sail.
and
come
come back
back westward
home for the stark night
travels done, dandelions picked
and placed between paper leaves, sort of a live grimoire
set in the shelf and half burnt logs poked in the cobblestone fireplace, coaxing the fire
we breathe in a spurt of choking ash breath heaving up the chimney and we start to talk
again over muddy tea, the fight forgotten
and when we pad over to bed
hopefully darling
our hot wet
faces will
be
dry.

Artwork by Yoshiki Hase

geomorphology

The geography of her body discovered, it didn’t matter that they’d seen a thousand breasts and that her body was largely unremarkable, that they hadn’t been tantalized by it before the photos materialized in their hands, all that mattered was that it had been unveiled to them.

Columbus wore a similar smile, his face split in triumph, when he first caught sight of a dark line, just a hint of land on the horizon, really no different from a hint of upper thigh, a scar that seemed to paint a neon arrow to the unknown, but certainly destined to be known and defined by
strangers until they were no longer strangers in a strange land

She shrouded her body in mischief and ample cloth so that she wouldn’t be discovered too.

Artwork by Paul Gaugin “By the Sea”