2023 Alabama Fellow for Visual Arts
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Southern Prize and State Fellowship
Kelly Bryant is a designer and maker based in Auburn, Ala. She is a professor of Graphic Design at Auburn University and has been working and teaching in the fields of typography, publication design, and poster design for over 35 years. Bryant's creative practices explore analog techniques of collage within the formats of artist books, posters, and broadsides. She was trained primarily as a publication designer.
Bryant has received several teaching awards, as well as a variety of international and national awards in design and fine art. Her work has been exhibited nationally in cities such as Savannah, Ga.; Kent, Ohio; Fargo, N.D.; Seattle, Wash.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and San Diego, Calif. Her work has been awarded two Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships in 2010 and 2020. Her work can be found in publications such as UPPERCASE magazine, Creative Quarterly's 100 Best annual, Fingerprint No. 2, Print's Regional Design annual, Best Practices for Graphic Designers: Grids and Page Layouts, Creative Anarchy, HOW magazine, and various Creative Quarterly journals.
Typography as form is beautiful to me. I look at typography not only as the typeface, but equally as the shape and voice of a collage I am creating. The typography used can be viewed as language or message, or it can function purely as a letter, word or phrase used as texture, shape, or color. It can be the foremost element in the collage—even if it looks nothing like type when I am finished—or it can act as a secondary or tertiary element to color, texture, or pattern.
Through the process of collage with typography, and what I call the “act of responsive play”, I create works that solve visual problems that ask to be solved. When I begin, each work is framed through an initial procurement of ephemera. It is those choices that drive the problem and the solution of the piece through a series of reactive processes that can occupy either a 2D (collage) or a 3D (artist book) format.
My intent is to engage the viewer’s curiosity through interactions, intersections and visual juxtapositions within composition and message. The collages are meant to be straightforward initially, but also contain visual complexities that only become apparent as one spends time with the work. In particular, the artist books are meant to be interactive, asking the viewer to use the senses of touch and sight alongside curiosity and engagement as they visually move through these multi-page environments.