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Kelsey Garrity-Riley: Drawing on the Edge of Personal History

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Talented American illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley has a complex set of homeland ties— born and raised in Europe, Garrity-Riley spent her childhood traveling between Brussels, Belgium and a tiny German village. At the age of 18, Garrity-Riley returned stateside, to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she has remained, sharing a home studio with her fellow illustrator— husband, Erik Riley. Life in Savannah has yielded numerous opportunities for the insightful artist, and during the week she works as a visual merchandizer in local shop The Paris Market, which affords her the freedom to work with a sense of expanded creativity. 

Kelsey Garrity-Riley’s art embodies the aesthetic of her bi-continental upbringing, many scenes reminiscent of what she says is “more accepted in Europe”— a “dark or edgy” palette of muted colors. Presented with a sense of levitation and grace, Garrity-Riley’s images evoke a feeling of nostalgia and reach the viewer in a place of recollected truth. Fanciful, dreamlike visions do not distract from this connection, and instead inform the process of one’s memory, and quietly approach the world’s darker underlying edge. Garrity-Riley’s interest lies firmly in personal history, and her images are conjured from this place of sensitivity and intrigue. 

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(Artwork created for the famed The World is Not Flat

(Window display at The Paris Market of Savannah) 

(Kelsey Garrity-Riley is an illustrator based in Savannah, GA, where she attended SCAD, earning her BFA in Illustration. In 2010, Garrity-Riley received 3rd Place at the international children’s book competition Teatrio, and she is currently represented by the Catugeau Agency. Garrity-Riley is open to creating a variety of commissioned work. Her art is available for purchase on Etsy, and you should also read her blog! Like the girl with the pug says.)

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