Bobbi Kelly is a retired high school art teacher, but she has never stopped being creative or showing others how to do the same. Kelly, the featured artist at the Latah County Fair, taught school for 31 years in southern Idaho.Now in Moscow, she teaches art workshops for adults and children, including participation in events such as the Moscow Artwalk and Renaissance Fair.
“As far as I can remember, I’ve been drawing and painting,” Kelly said. “I’d get in trouble in school, because I’d draw instead of arithmetic.”
When Kelly’s own students asked her what she did during the weekend, she would often respond, “I painted.” Her students never saw it as a career or hobby — just something to do in class — but for Kelly it’s something much more.
“It’s just an impulse, an itch that has to be scratched or it makes you crazy,” Kelly said. “It’s a reward for
having time to do something.”
Jan Vogtman of the Palouse Watercolor Socius said Kelly was picked for the fair exhibit because she had a “large and diverse body of work,” with numerous paintings to display. Kelly will share more than 40 framed original watercolors today through Sunday in the National Guard Armory Building at the Latah County Fairgrounds. Nearly 12 unframed originals will be on display with a handful of smaller reprints, which Kelly said are reasonably priced. About two-thirds of her paintings are landscapes.
“I swore I wasn’t going to paint the Palouse Prairie, because everybody does that, but I just couldn’t help that,” Kelly said, laughing.
She also has paintings of downtown Moscow buildings, such as the Breakfast Club or the Garden Lounge. Kelly has a collection of abstract paintings, too, which she creates in various ways, such as tape blocking, tearing or stamping, where she uses art gum erasers and different mixtures of watercolors. Her painting “Magic Carpet,” while abstract, still looks like an oriental rug.
“I don’t want to do the same things that I know I can do, so I experiment a little bit,” Kelly said.
She will put on a paint demonstration each day, and will likely be on site during the fair’s opening and closing hours. Onlookers are free to ask questions about her paintings and their prices.
Kelly will return to the Latah County Fairgrounds when she serves as host of her fourth adult beginner watercolor class for $10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 26. Required registration information and application materials will be available at the fairgrounds or online at palousewatercolorsocius.com/calendar.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: Bobbi Kelly exhibit
WHEN: 1 p.m.-10 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: National Guard Armory Building, Latah County Fairgrounds, 1011 E. Blaine, Moscow