Kelly Garrett Rathbone Rebo was born in Singapore to American parents and has called Indonesia, Norway, and Italy her home outside of the US. She studied at Parsons School of Design, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Penland School of Crafts, and The Florence Academy of Art. She stumbled into the world of ceramics after becoming the studio assistant to sculptor Cristina Cordova. Kelly has been awarded artist residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation, Greenwich House Pottery, The LH Project, and The Da Wang Culture Highland in China. She teaches workshops from time to time both in the US and abroad and her work can be found in international collections. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two young children, dog, and cat. If she’s not taking care of the laundry list of domestic responsibilities, going on family adventures in the camper van, or designing and sewing clothes for children, you’ll probably find her making things with clay.
Growing up internationally, studying classical sculpture in Italy, and most recently returning from a ceramic residency in China, has all led up to the body of work that I call “Lost Mariposas”. Just as the title of the show is a play on pronunciation of “Lost” in substitute for the Spanish “Las” meaning “the” , this body of work plays with colliding cultures, duel-meanings, and leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
I not only explore recognizable iconography and culture references but I have meshed the traditional old-world techniques with those of my own. Pushing the boundaries of the material and dissecting tradition.
“Mariposas” is Spanish for butterflies. They are the symbol of rebirth, resurrection. So in resurrecting the traditions of old worlds and breaking them down and rearranging them to create something new, the butterfly becomes a sort of symbolic mascot of this body of work, both physically and spiritually.
-Kelly Garrett Rathbone