Kellie Romany is an abstract artist interested in bodies and systems. Using a color palette of skin tones, Romany creates objects that act as a catalyst for discussion about human connections, race, and the systems surrounding these themes. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Romany has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including museum shows at the High Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and DePaul Art Museum.

SELECTED speaking engagements & performances

Hirshorn Museum of Art, Washington DC

Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago IL

Arts Club Chicago, Chicago IL

Indiana University, Bloomington IN

Westtown School, West Chester, PA

Alice Yard, Trinidad & Tobago, WI

Arts Incubator, The University of Chicago

Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Patron Gallery, Chicago IL


Gay, Roxane, Roxane Gay: Black to Black. Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2022, November 3, 2022.

LaHaye Fontenot, Jordan, “State of the Art: Record.” Country Roads Magazine, March 21, 2022.

Heyn Richardson, Maggie, “HIGH-PROFILE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBIT OPENS” 225 magazine, March 4, 2022.

Dee, Amanda, "Processing An Archive of Touch.", Sixty Inches from Center, July 15, 2019.

Lukes, Kat, A Beautiful Mess: Abstraction as Strategy// Out of Easy Reach. The Seen Journal, August 16, 2018.

Taylor-Flynn, Annalise, Out of Easy Reach: Review. Sixty Inches from Center, May 31, 2018.


My approach to painting is an equally intimate and physically consuming process of making, though the work itself can be seemingly bare and minimalist. I am fascinated by the materiality and properties of paint—its manipulation with outside influences, or lack thereof, within a work. The content of my artwork— abstracted bleeds, clots, rings, cracks, and rippling wave forms—aim to recall relationships between bodies, biology, and race. In my work, I look to the diversity of humanity for connections between our constantly shifting definitions of otherness, race, and belonging. Using a color palette of skin tones, I paint to create portraits of diversity that blur the lines of figure and non-representation. Through my practice, I am owning not only the final choice of the colors exposed, but by process am able to show the physical histories of where the paint was coerced over time. Foregoing the artist's’ brush to push and pull color, I manipulate the paint by moving the clay board, paper, or ceramic with my own hands, watching for—rather than forcing—reactions and catching and re-distributing the movement and placement of color to build layers over time. The result is the revealing of a history, a landscape of buildup, erosion, stoppage and careening through the archive of the paint’s movement as a reaction to my body.