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BIO

Kelsey Dillow is from Huntington, West Virginia. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography & Integrated Media from Ohio University in 2016, as well as minors in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Museum Studies.

Utilizing traditional and alternative photographic processes, Dillow's studio practice explores connecting and dividing lines between religion, the occult and Appalachian identity. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Appalachian region. 

 

Kelsey is a co-founder of Whistlepig Farms, a collective of makers raising plants, pets and making art in the hollers of East Tennessee. She has a darkroom there where she makes silver gelatin prints and tintypes. For commissions, events, hires or purchases, email kelseytdillow@gmail.com

STATEMENT

As a child I experienced the shouting, singing and faith strewn across the pews of the southern baptist church my mother grew up in. A sick man kneels at the altar; the elders of the church surround him and place their hands on his body. Like a collective heartbeat, they chant for God to heal him.

 

In a town across the river, a woman in the congregation has the sight. Members of her church, community and strangers seek her advice while she chain smokes in her kitchen. She predicted the deaths of several folks in town, or so it is said. She credits her gift to God, practically spitting at the whispers of witchcraft. 

 

Storytelling, myth-making, folk magic and connection to the land are lights that guide my art practice and represent a large part of the Appalachian identity for me. By trying to understand the complicated histories of this region, I seek to better understand my own experience, and that of the diverse communities found in these mountains.

 

Utilizing photographic processes as a means of representing Appalachian identity is an important part of my practice. In a region where visual portrayals of stereotypes have permeated throughout history and shaped the lives of its people, it seems to me that there is power in creating our own representations.

CV

 

EDUCATION

2011 – 2016 | Ohio University, BFA Photography & Integrated Media, Athens OH

                      Museum Studies (minor), Women Gender & Sexuality Studies (minor) 

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2012 – Present | Freelance Photographer, Kelsey Tiara Photo 

2017 – 2021 | Gallery Manager, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

2016 – 2017 | Exhibitions Manager, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH

2014 – 2016 | Exhibitions/Framer/Collections Assistant, Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH

2012 – 2014 | Gallery Assistant, Ohio University Southern Gallery, Ironton, OH

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021 | Reality is known by its traces, Chaddock & Morrow Gallery, The DBAC, Athens OH

2019 | Reality is known by its traces, Tile Room Gallery, Abington Art Center, Philadelphia PA

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021 | Contact, Vanessa Hartman collaboration, Mighty Mud, Knoxville, TN

2021 | Knoxville Photo 2021, Arts & Culture Alliance, Knoxville, TN

2021 | Women of Appalachia Project, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH

2020 | Meet the Board: New Members Exhibition, Knoxville Community Darkroom, Knoxville, TN

2020 | The END!, Gallery 1010, Knoxville TN 

2019 | Off the Clock: Arrowmont Staff Exhibition, Gallery 1010, Knoxville TN

2019 | Nuance: Craftsmanship, Imagination & Innovation, Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton NJ

2019 | National Juried Exhibition of 2019, Arts & Culture Alliance, Knoxville TN

2017 | Monster, Majestic Galleries, Nelsonville OH

2017 | Southern Comfort, Station 116, Athens OH

2016 | Toil and Trouble, Collingwood Arts Center, Toledo OH

2016 | Convergence, Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, Athens OH

2016 | ImageOHIO16, ROY G BIV Gallery, Columbus OH (catalog)

2015 | Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, Athens OH

2015 | Senior Highlight, Test Strip, Ohio University, Athens OH

2015 | Arts Council of Northeast Kentucky, Pendleton Arts Center, Ashland KY

2013 | Student Juried Exhibition, Ohio University Southern Gallery, Ironton OH

2012 | Student Juried Exhibition, Ohio University Southern Gallery, Ironton OH

2012 | Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, Athens OH

2011 | Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, Athens OH

 

CURATORIAL 

2020 | Incremental Signals | Kim Mirus & Shanna Fleigel, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN
2019 | Bridging the Gap: Contemporary Craft Practices, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2019 | In Her Domain | Helen Geglio & Angela Caldwell, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2019 | New Traditions | Sophie Glenn & Adam Hawk, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2016 | David Currie: Photographs, The Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens OH

2015 | Arnold Gassan: Serigraphs, Test Strip, Ohio University, Athens OH

 

TEACHING / JURYING

2022 | Handbound Photo Albums workshop, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2021 | Lumen Printing Party (auction item workshop), Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2020 | Lumen Printing, Staff Workshop, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts

2020 | Lumen Printing, Knoxville Teachers In-Service, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2019 | Lumen Printing, Leadership Knoxville, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

2019 | Lumen Printing, Knoxville Teachers In-Service, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2018 | Art Slam Competition, Juror, Dogwood Arts, Knoxville TN 
 

GRANTS / AWARDS

2016 | Ohio University Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund, Athens OH

2015 | Terry Schchat Photography Scholarship, Ohio University, Athens OH

2015 | B&H Photography Award, Ohio University, Athens OH

2015 | Special Talent Award, Ohio University, Athens OH

2014 | Terry Schchat Photography Scholarship, Ohio University, Athens OH

2014 | B&H Photography Award, Ohio University, Athens OH

2013 | 3rd place, Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, Athens OH

2012 | Director’s Award, Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Ohio University, Athens OH

2012 | Workshop Scholarship, Walter Gropius Master Series, Huntington Museum of Art, WV

 

PUBLICATIONS

2021 | The Pigeon Parade Quarterly, Issue No. 4, Knoxville, TN (print)

2021 | International Photography Annual INPHA 8, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH (print)

2019 | Musée Magazine, Flash Fiction: Unpacking Suitcase  

           https://museemagazine.com/features/2019/10/11/flash-fiction-unpacking-suitcase

2019 | SPE Women’s Caucus, Instagram takeover

2019 | The Hand Magazine, Issue No. 24. Pg. 18 (print)

2016 | Jettison Magazine, “Feral Temptations,“ Athens, OH

           http://jettisonarchive.com/uncategorized/1614/feral-temptations/

2015 | Sphere Magazine, Ohio University, Athens, OH (print)

           https://www.ohio.edu/cas/english/research/literary-journals/sphere-magazine

 

PARTICIPATION / CONTINUED EDUCATION

2021 | First Aid Collective Knoxville Art Auction, Knoxville, TN

2021 | Wetplate Collodion Workshop with Lisa Elmaleh, Paw Paw, WV

2020 | Devotional Print Portfolio Exchange, Gallery 1010, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

2019 | Broom Making Workshop with Nikki Jones, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, TN

2018 | SPE Southeast Conference, “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” Penland School of Craft, NC
 

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

2020 – 2021 | Knoxville Community Darkroom, Gallery Director / Board Member, Knoxville, TN 

2018 – Present | Society for Photographic Education (SPE), member