For the summer season, SALT Gallery, 830 Fleming St., will feature a new collection of whimsical mixed media paintings by local artist Kreg Kelley. To celebrate Kreg’s new works, SALT will be hosting an opening reception at the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 6.
A Key West-based artist as of summer 2013, Kreg won his first art award at the age of 12 with the Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards Program for a drawing titled “Holocaust.”
Throughout his teenage life he experimented in different artistic mediums, but it wasn’t until 2003 that his art became more of a full-on hobby. Aside from abstraction and 3D works on canvas, he incorporates damaged antique engravings and artifacts from the 18th and 19th century into his pieces. Several of his pieces are in world-renowned chef Gerry Garvin’s restaurant in Hollywood and he participated in a group show in NYC featuring works by Yoko Ono. In the summer of 2010 his painting of “Washington, DC: Night in the City Series” was chosen to be featured in the national calendar for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Kreg’s works hang on walls across the world — including Amsterdam, Canada, Brazil, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Australia, France, Japan, Italy, Spain and the U.K. Most notably, his works hang in the homes of the former King of Spain, Doc Rivers and actress/comedian Jane Lynch. Upon moving to Key West, Kreg immediately became an active member of The Florida Keys Council of the Arts. The Anne McKee Art Fund and The Studios of Key West. Throughout his time in Key West, Kreg has collectively donated over $25,000 in artwork to such organizations as the Florida Keys SPCA, the Sister Season Fund, the Key West Wildlife Center, Special Olympics of the Florida Keys, WOMANKIND, Grimal Grove – Big Pine Tree Conservation, The Trevor Project and AIDS HELP Key West.
Although he spent many years living in urban areas, Kreg has adjusted quickly to island life. “One of the main reasons I moved to Key West was to focus on my work and the tropical beauty of Key West is not only relaxing but also conducive to my creative process,” Kreg explains. “While D.C. was a fantastic part of my life, offering some of the best inspirational art in the world at the Smithsonian Institution or the Philips Collection, the island life is much more my cup of tea. I prefer the ‘stop and smell the roses’ way of life, and this environment is perfect for that.”
“What I love most about Kreg’s pieces is the juxtaposition of the old and the new,” says gallery owner Laura Richardson. “The way he utilizes salvaged antiques overlaid with modern artistic techniques is absolutely fascinating and unique. We’ve never featured anyone like Kreg at SALT and we are so excited to expose more of the island to his incredible masterpieces.”
“I will be showing mostly new works at SALT while still involving my classic elements of antiques mixed with acrylics,” Kreg describes. “This series is much more influenced by Key West and island life, with an array of subjects like antique postcards of Key West, flowers, sea and marine life. Also touching on the theme of ‘Time Flies,’ many of the pieces feature antique clocks from the 1800s.”
SALT Gallery features an eclectic collection of local art, local sea salts, jewelry, pottery, wine, and Florida Keys honey. Gallery owners Maria Sharpe and Laura Richardson feature a new artist each month at SALT. For more information, call 305-517-6088 or visit www.