Katie Pell American, 1965-2019

Biography

Pell held a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Alongside pursuing her own artwork, she taught at the Southwest School of Art, Northwest Vista College, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Through exuberant drawings, performance projects, and comic books, Pell celebrated vernacular traditions. Her work presents a world without taboos or boundaries—one where anything is possible for those who go beyond given conditions. Her work irreverently explored personal, gender, and cultural identity, as well as the potential for greatness in everyone. Pell passed away in December 2019 and is dearly remembered by the art community in San Antonio.

 

She worked with glass, ceramic, video and recycled materials of all sorts; however, her true love was drawing. “I am inspired by the boardwalk, and congregating teenagers in general; operatic and dramatic music, like early Bruce Springsteen, and Polyphonic Spree, David Bowie... I want to know where genuine living and role-playing intersect. Some of us build our own mythology out of our environment, our desires and our own furious defiance at our genetic mediocrity. I hope my work can ignite or describe the excitement of our pointless and forgettable lives, and reaffirm the value of our gorgeous desperation.” - Katie Pell

 

She had solo exhibitions at Artpace, San Antonio, TX; Lawndale Center for the Arts, Houston, TX; McKinney Center for the Arts, Dallas, TX; Women & Their Work, Austin, TX and most recently at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina.

Her work has been included in exhibitions such as Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2006); Drawing in San Antonio:Works by Contemporary Area Artists, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; and TX13: Spotlight on Texas Artists in the Contemporary Collections, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX.

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