Denis Kelly Event and Exhibit

By Katy Utter '14

I saw the Denis Ryan Kelly Jr. exhibit going up mid-March and I was very intrigued. There were bright colors and beautiful landscapes that caught my eye so when I saw that there was a lunch program coming up where the artist was coming to explain his photographic and field audio I decided to RSVP. One of the things that I love about UD is that there are many chances to see guest speakers and I wanted to hear more from the artist that has so effectively captured my attention.

After a short lunch, Denis talked in front of the the audience in the first floor gallery space with humor and grace. He first explained how he got connected with the University, which happened before he was born, when his parents met here. He then got into the more technical aspects of his photography. I'm not going to pretend that I knew everything that he was talking about because I use my iPhone as my main photography source, but I was amazed at his eye for beauty. He walked around the exhibit talking about some of his photographs and it seems like he would go to any length to get a single shot including bending at crazy angles and walking through any type of weather.

The series that is currently on exhibit in the library is called "Eco-Conscience and Holiness: Journeys of a Pilgrim Artist Through Holy Lands" and displays pictures of his world travels to places such as France, Ireland, and Jerusalem. The photographs vary between landscape, culture, and religious symbolism that describe his emotional connections with each of the places he has been to. My favorite installation is his immersive Prayer at the Mount of the Beatitudes. It is a circular panorama created through several photographs during his time in Israel. It has an audio component of the waves of the Sea of Galilee (recorded on location) combined with several UD students, professors, and the artist reading the Sermon on the Mount. He worked with several professors to mix and record the audio and it has created a beautiful and powerful piece of art.

Hearing the artist speak about his passion for photography and audio along with the stories behind his breathtaking pieces was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I encourage everyone to check out his beautiful exhibit while it is on campus through May 12, 2013. To learn more about the artist visit http://www.deniskelly.com

-Katy Utter, Libraries Marketing and Events Intern and Marketing, Entrepreneurship major class of 2014

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