Kelly Kozma’s art will put a smile on yourself (if nothing else). The mixed media and fiber artist incorporates smiley faces into her abstract pieces. Combining drawing, painting, and hand embroidery she creates vivid, pattern-driven pieces, that burst with color.
Her original technique breaths contemporary life into the traditional craft of hand embroidery, but she admits it took her a while to get there. “When I was younger I only associated textiles with quilts and clothing, more functional items,” she told Textile Artist. “I had a lot of stigmas about what art was, and it took a lot of time, exploration, and life experience to break down those perimeters.”
“I started undergrad as a 2D Fine Arts major, and then dabbled in graphic design and textiles,” she recalled. “I struggled with labels and thought I could only be one type of artist. Initially, I was convinced I would become a figure painter, as many of us do, being immersed in countless hours of drawing nude models in art school. It wasn’t until I started painting life-size portraits on fabric that I started to get the textile itch.”
She has never looked back since, and with solo exhibitions around the US, it’s clear that her untraditional work found a receptive audience. Here are some highlights from her Instagram page: