Hampshire Alum Keliy Anderson-Staley 96F Named 2022 Guggenheim Fellow

Keliy Anderson-Staley, associate professor of photography and digital media at the University of Houston, is an accomplished photographer whose work explores the art of portraiture through a range of historic photographic processes and incorporates an array of found and archival materials. We had the opportunity to talk virtually with Keliy and learn more about the fellowship, her time at Hampshire, and the projects she’s currently working on.

What did you study at Hampshire? What was your Div III?

I studied photography. I spent a lot of time in the darkroom in the Film and Photo Building (well before the Liebling renovation), but because I was doing a lot of collage and other kinds of object-based work, I also had a studio in the Art Barn. My Div III, titled "Corrupted Palimpsests a photographic and sculptural installation," was chaired by the late Robert Seydel, who still continues to influence the way I think about the medium. Hampshire leads to strong relationships—and I am very grateful to so many of my Hampshire professors, such as Robin Coste Lewis 86S, Jacqueline Hayden, Kane Stewart, and especially to Sandra Matthews, who continues to be a mentor to me.


What are you working on now? Did your experience at Hampshire influence your current work?

A direct line can be traced from what I am doing now back to my work at Hampshire—I am still working with a range of historic photographic processes, incorporating unconventional surfaces into my photo work, still interested in displaying photographs in three-dimensional ways and within layers of information, and working with found and archive materials. Hampshire instilled in me a strong work ethic, a drive towards experimentation, and a curiosity about the limits of my medium and about non-linear storytelling. I think it is also because of Hampshire that I consider whatever I am working on at a given time as part of a large-scale project. At this point, I am maybe working on my Div VIII.

"Hampshire instilled in me a strong work ethic, a drive towards experimentation and curiosity about the limits of my medium and about non linear storytelling. I think it is also because of Hampshire that I consider whatever I am working on at a given time as part of a large-scale project. At this point, I am maybe working on my Div VIII." Keliy Anderson-Staley 96F

Can you tell us more about the work that the fellowship will support?

I am really excited for the time that the Guggenheim will give me to devote to my project Raw Materials in Peace and War. I am making artist's books and paper collages that reinterpret and alter original documents from my family archive, including my grandfather's writings on global politics, my father's letters with him debating his decision to resist the Vietnam draft, and other notebooks that reveal the complicated relationships between private family experience and world events. I am ultimately interested in the challenges attending any biographical and autobiographical project based on images and textual evidence, and I am playing at the edges of what it is possible to say definitively. 

Keliy Anderson-Staley’s work has been exhibited at the Akron Art Museum, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, the UCR/California Museum of Photography, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and more. Her work has been written about and reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Photo District News, Photograph, Art New England, ARTnews, and others.

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