Xavier Magazine

Brotherly Love of Art

Professor of art Kelly Phelps and his brother, Kyle, like to say that they work together in creating their art like one person in two different bodies. Currently the twins are exhibiting a new collection of their collaborative work, “God…Steel and a Wasted Dream.” The 20-piece exhibit focuses on their speciality: race relations and the blue-collar, Midwest factory life. The two grew up among the factories of New Castle, Ind. Their father was a factory worker, and they both worked in the factories as they earned their undergradute degrees from Ball State University. They collect much of the material used in their art from old factories and then enhance the rusty, greasy, dirt-covered pieces of metal with ceramic pieces. Kelly teaches sculpture and ceramics at Xavier; Kyle teaches ceramics at the University of Dayton. Together their work has appeared in more than 110 regional, national and international exhibitions. They also share more than 130 publications. And they have more than 75 commissioned pieces, including a life-sized statue of jazz great Eric Dolphy at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.


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