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Stands in Solitude: UA graduate student showcases art in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery

Emilee Benos

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Kelsey Windham knows the value of a quiet moment. 

Windham expresses the stillness experienced in nature in her master of arts exhibit “Stands in Solitude,” which will be displayed in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery from January 11 through February 26. 

“These new works in ‘Stands in Solitude’ are a response to taking time in observation and stillness,” Windham said. “I think there is something so valuable about being open to a little solitude in the midst of our daily rush.”

Originally from the Mississippi Delta Region around Memphis, Tenn, Windham was influenced by her surroundings from a young age. She has always enjoyed being in nature, something she tries to evoke in her art. 

“She is very connected to her roots and derives her subject matter from the sensations of the landscapes and places she loves,” Windham’s teacher Bryce Speed said. 

While the vastness of the sky led Windham to pick up a brush, her original interest in nature began at a much smaller level. Claude Monet traced his interest in painting nature back to flowers, and Windham does the same. 

“I love to garden and I think I was always fascinated by nature from a very early age, which has developed into a love for pigments and paper, and for making,” Windham said. 

Although Windham is working towards her Master of Fine Arts in Painting here at the University, painting is not her only form of expression. Windham uses a variety of mediums to illustrate her relationship with nature. 

She also enjoys writing poetry, and uses poetry as part of the process in creating works in the studio. She finds that poetry and painting have many similarities.

“The most important similarity is the observing that they require,” Windham said, “as well as the way a poem can give a sense of a moment—that is something I want my paintings to do.”

Windham’s paintings go beyond just illustrating her surroundings. She said she is interested in the spiritual side of painting as well. Windham said she doesn’t want her audience to just look at the landscapes in her paintings, she wants them to actually experience them. 

“This new work seeks to stand in for the experience of being in a landscape,” Windham said. “ I am interested in the way it feels to be in a space, to evoke a sense of place and presence.” 

This exhibit is a requirement to complete the MA program in the UA Department of Art and Art History. In the future, Windham hopes to continue her studio practice and to one day teach. 

There will be a reception on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. The public is invited to attend. 

The Sella-Granata Art Gallery is located at 109 Woods Hall and is open to the public Monday-Thursday 10:00-4:00 p.m. Admission is free. 

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Stands in Solitude: UA graduate student showcases art in the Sella-Granata Art Gallery