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As my children get older and leave home, I have begun to explore the idea of memory and identity, as they relate to relationships, particularly the relationships that must change in order to grow. I am interested in the spaces between narrative and the heart, both the story and the longing it creates when it passes. Being a mom has been core to my identity for so long now that I have returned to imagery from my childhood memories to explore who I am aside from my current role. Drawing and painting, for me, are about finding answers that only appear for a split second and then are gone. They are about giving voice to things that have hurt me or intrigued me or betrayed me and examining which parts of my past reside in me still.

When my youngest son was four, he asked me, “Mom, you know that voice in your head? Who is that?” I suppose my work is an attempt to answer that question. I have been filling notebooks with Venn diagrams and visual lists to record things about me that define me. Under all of this is a need to connect, to feel valuable and heard, and to leave behind traces of myself.  I rely, often, on the image of an airplane and on ladders. I cannot be certain of why they appear, but my guess is that I am interested in the idea of heaven and I am scared of dying and leaving my children behind. The images that repeat themselves (bobby-pins, cherry pies, igloos, scissors, string) are all tied to the concept of home, of what it is and of how I will ever manage leaving it. 

CONTACT ME: kellymizer@gmail.com / 414-839-3736

I live and work in Wisconsin, where I chair the coolest art department in all of the land at Wauwatosa East High School. I am mom to four, wife to one, so my time spent outside of art and teaching is with the most lovely crew of people I have ever laid eyes on.