Kelsey Willits is an emerging artist working in diverse media. She was born in 1997 in Taegu, South Korea, and grew up in Oskaloosa, Kansas. She is currently finishing her final thesis semester at KU and will graduate this May with a BFA in Visual Art and Minors in Art History and Journalism. Her recent solo exhibition Liminal Spaces showcased her work in ceramics, sculpture, drawing and installation. During her time at KU, Kelsey has shown work in various student-led exhibitions and art shows in the Lawrence community. Her artistic practice emphasizes process, combining interdisciplinary research with antimethod approach. Her work explores themes of queer ecology, archiving, social practice, and embodied learning. Presently, she prepares for her thesis exhibition and creates new work based in critical action learning and performance. Kelsey has recently been invited to participate in an artist-in-residency program at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, China, where she intends to create work this summer following the completion of her degree program.
While pursuing her undergraduate at the University of Kansas, Willits received the Undergraduate Certificate in Research Experience, Undergraduate Travel Award, Amsden Award, Donna Geier Scholarship, Dorris Carey Scholarship, Dorothy H. Johnson Memorial Scholarship, and Roger N. Wooldridge Memorial Scholarship, and the Rock Chalk Scholarship. Recently Willits received the a2ru Scholar Award and a2ru Student Travel Grant.