Shelter in Place
Saturday, April 21, 2018
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Part public performance, part public installation, “Shelter in Place” is a community focused photography project by UH School of Art professor Keliy Anderson-Staley. Nationally recognized for her tintype portraits, a historic photographic process that involves exposing an image to a chemical-coated wet metal plate, Anderson-Staley is creating new portraits in communities across Houston to affix to a temporary sculptural structure.
SITE Gallery will be presenting the inaugural public installation of the completed piece. The simple structure, sheathed in hundreds of original tintype portraits, will be installed in an outdoor space under the train shed at the Silos at Sawyer Yards. Made of powerful individual portraits, the piece is a portrait of the greater community.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the building of the shelter is an expression of community-building and recovery. The structure represents community as a kind of shelter, but also our collective fragility and vulnerability in the face of natural and environmental catastrophe.
“Shelter in Place” is supported in part by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.
About the Artist
Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in central Maine. After completing a B.A. at Hampshire College in Amherst and an M.F.A. at Hunter College in New York, she moved to Houston, where she is an assistant professor of photography and digital media at the University of Houston. For over a decade, she has been making portraits across the country at venues including a public bus-stop in New Haven, the garden of a non-profit art space in Philadelphia, a major art fair in Chicago, the lawn of an art museum in Little Rock and the lobbies of the Morris Museum of Art, California Museum of Photography, and Southeast Museum of Photography. For a recent public commission, she produced 50 portraits of Clevelanders at three different non-profit art spaces that were installed in the tunnels of the RTA Metro Red Line tunnel at the Cleveland airport.
Her work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Akron Museum of Art, California Museum of Photography, Odgen Museum of Southern Art, Bronx Museum of Art, Morris Museum of Art and Southeast Museum of Photography. Her work is included in the collections of the Library of Congress, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, Comer Collection at University of Texas Dallas and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Her projects have been funded by grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the George and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, Houston Arts Alliance, Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Puffin Foundation. She was also the recipient of the Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography and the Clarence John Laughlin award from the New Orleans Photo Alliance. In 2010, she was an artist-in-residence at Light Work in Syracuse, NY and the work she produced there was published as a solo issue of their journal, “Contact Sheet.” Her book of tintype portraits, “On a Wet Bough,” was published in 2014 by Waltz Books. She is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.