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Courtney Kessel



Art + Design

Courtney Kessel

Gallery Director, Ohio University Galleries

Courtney Kessel is a mother, artist, academic, and arts administrator living and working in Athens, Ohio. Kessel exhibits her work nationally and internationally including New Maternalisms, Chile at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago Chile, FAMILY MATTERS: Living and Representing Today’s Family, Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, the Tampa Museum of Art, Exit Art, New York, NY, and with the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, NY. She has lectured on her work and research in both universities and museums internationally including the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL, Brigham Young University Art Museum, Provo, UT, The Mothernists conference, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and upcoming Mapping Maternal Ethics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Through sculpture, photography, performance, video, and sound, Courtney Kessel’s work strives to make visible the quiet, understated, and often unseen love and labor of motherhood. Her work transcends the local binary of public/ private and extends into the repositioning of the ongoing, non-narrative, excessive dialogic flow that occurs within the domestic space. Kessel endeavors to create a space that examines language and maternity through a feminist lens thereby opening a dialog between what is seen and not seen. In the annual performance piece, In Balance With,(2009-present) Kessel presents a version of the maternal which investigates collaboration with her daughter, Chloé, as a visible, changeable aspect of mothering. Other projects in which reflect a continued research into the subjective maternal include the solo exhibition, Mother Lode (2014), Symphony of the Domestic II (2015), Cut From the Same (2013), and the video Sharing Space (2012).

Kessel is the Gallery Director for the Ohio University Art Galleries and teaches in the School of Art + Design at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

Educational Background:

MFA, Sculpture & Expanded Practices Certificate, Women’s & Gender Studies, Ohio University BFA, Sculpture, Tyler School of Art Studied at Temple University Rome, Italy