Starsong: The art of telling wordless tales

Published 8:41 pm Saturday, November 14, 2015

Photos by Julia Miller / Kelly Walters, an MSA instructor, currently has several pieces of art on display at the Lincoln County Library. “Starsong” will be up throughout the end of the month.

Photos by Julia Miller / Kelly Walters, an MSA instructor, currently has several pieces of art on display at the Lincoln County Library. “Starsong” will be up throughout the end of the month.

Art is all about perspective — both the perspective of the artist and the viewer. Mississippi School of the Arts instructor Kelly Walters explores new perspectives in her latest exhibit entitled “Starsong.”

“With this series I went back to telling a story through art,” Walters said.DSC_0295

To start out, Walters revisited a piece she began before she started her graduate degree, “World of Imagination Triptych.” She began the three panel pieces in 2007, and her goal is to inspire children to want to read.

“It talks to the dreamer in us all,” she said.DSC_0278NEW

Stories are a big part of Walters work as she explores story telling through visual arts.

“Even though I’m telling a story, you may see a different story when you’re looking,” she said. “Art is how we communicate with the world around us without using the written language. We can communicate with anyone and transcend any kind of verbal barriers.”DSC_0287

Walters has also been exploring art with the help of her 3-year-old daughter. One of the pieces took a surprising turn when her daughter dropped an easel through the canvas resulting in a tear. Walters stitched it up with some thread, but her daughter decided the painting wasn’t quite finished. Clara sat down to add her own flourishes.

“When she was finished, she was like, ‘that’s better,’” Walters said with a laugh.DSC_0288

Clara also does some of her own work, and she has a corner in her mother’s show.

“She looks at me and says, ‘That’s done,’ so I know she’s finished,” Walters said.DSC_0291NEW

Though Clara enjoys drawing what would be expected of a toddler, such as rainbows, Walters is often surprised by her daughter’s representation of such subjects.Art4

“She’ll draw people and trees swaying,” she said. “It’s interesting to see how she sees light. It helps me to see things different as an artist. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Though Walters is often amazed by her daughter’s work at such a young age, it seems as though she herself was much like that early on.Art2

“My mom says as a child I’d have papers all over the floor with drawings,” she said. “It was very much encouraged throughout my life.”

Walters attributes her success to her family, friends and teachers who have supported her.

“I’ve always had people around me to help me make my dreams happen,” she said.

Now, Walters pays it forward with her students and helps them find the passion and talent within themselves.

“They have the tools they need to make that [their dreams] happen,” she said.

Most of the work is acrylic, but Walters also relies heavily on mixed media, with such mediums as watercolor, charcoal or, in the case of her collaboration with her daughter, thread.

“It’s an interesting show because it’s different types of art,” she said.

“Starsong” will be on display in the Vernon Room at the Lincoln County Library throughout the month of November.