Born in Buffalo, New York, Kelly Greene soon moved with her family to Fort Erie, Ontario, and Seattle, Washington before finally settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is of Mohawk-Oneida-Sicilian heritage and a member of the Six Nations Reserve in Ohsweken, Ontario. Her multi-media work includes sculpture, installation, painting, and photography.
Always interested in making art, Greene attended the University of New Mexico, completing courses in art history, drawing, sculpture, design, and photography. She moved back to Ontario to complete her BFA at Western University in 1994.
Before graduating, Greene began participating in First Nations Art, the annual exhibit at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario. Here began her education and awareness of her Haudenosaunee identity, learning from other artists’ submissions of traditional work reflecting beliefs, stories, and ceremonies as well as contemporary work that revealed strength, perseverance, and hidden histories. She received much support and direction from Woodland’s renowned Museum Director, Tom Hill, as well as succeeding directors including Judy Harris, Janis Monture, Naomi Johnson, and Paula Whitlow. This, combined with instruction and encouragement from esteemed professors/mentors/artists from Western University, including David Merritt, Wyn Geleynse, Helmut Becker, Alice Mansell, and Sheila Butler, led to Greene’s confidence and motivation to produce artworks that focused on her concern for the environment and the impact of mass colonization on Canada’s First People.
Greene has exhibited in Canada and the United States for over twenty-five years in solo and group exhibits at the Woodland Cultural Centre, as well as in Banff, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Montreal, Quebec; Brampton, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Toronto, Ontario; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Howes Cave, New York. Her work is in several public and private collections, and in 2012 and 2015 she was commissioned to complete two permanent outdoor installations at the Woodland Cultural Centre. She has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Biography Courtesy of Kelly Greene
Biography Profile Photo: Orélie Grimaldi (oreliegrimaldi.com), used with permission
Courtesy of Kelly Greene
CV Courtesy of Kelly Greene
A Driving Force interview conducted by Samantha Merritt
Research Assistant, PhD. Candidate, Visual Arts, Western University
Eric Simard, Videographer
A Driving Force Interview: Kelly Greene