Lecture by Professor Joan Marie Kelly of Nanyang Technological University

Participatory Art in South Asia: Painting with Bangladesh Foreign Workers in Singapore

Joan Marie Kelly of Nanyang Technological University
Professor Joan Marie Kelly of Nanyang Technological University

November 2, 2017, 5:15pm
Star Store Campus, Room 144

This lecture explores Participatory Art as an education methodology and shows its capacity to transform racial stereotypes in South Asia. Professor Joan Marie Kelly of Nanyang Technological University will explain how her students in Singapore are given a design brief to compose engagement with Bangladesh and Indian foreign construction workers who often relocate for better-paid job opportunities in Singapore. Kelly will show how her students imagine and initiate engagements and experiences that grow from these participatory art practices. The lecture is organized by Professor Pamela Karimi in conjunction with her Grad Seminar II: On Creativity. The theme of this week’s class is “The Artist as Cultural Critic.”  This event is supported by a Provost Seminar Series Grant.

Biography of Joan Marie Kelly


Joan Marie Kelly has been living and teaching Art in Singapore since 2005 as a Senior Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University.  She is a member artist of Blue Mountain Gallery, one of New York's longest running artists' cooperatives, located in Chelsea heart of the art district in New York City. She has pursued a career of art making, as objects; paintings and ceramics. Yet Asia inspired her to develop a Participatory Art practice where she refers to herself as an Urban Ecologist, one who investigates the ecosystem of the city initiating artistic encounters with migrant and marginalized communities. Participatory Art became a means to rebel against standards of why people are or are not valuable. She has conducted Participatory Art workshops in neighborhoods of Fes Morocco, Kolkata, Shenzhen, Singapore, and New York City, empowering people through creativity, often the experience inspires her paintings. 2017, she is the 2nd prize winner in the Glover Painting Prize, Australia. Her recent solo exhibitions were held in Blue Mountain Gallery New York City, Smith College USA, New Delhi India, Fez Morocco. Recent Biennials include, Beijing, Izmir, Turkey, Korea, and Casablanca. A 2012 publication "Zones of Contact: The Public Art of Joan Marie Kelly" includes an essay by New York Art critic David Cohen and 30 color photographs of her paintings.

For questions contact: Professor Pamela Karimi (pamela.karimi@umassd.edu)


College of Visual and Performing Arts