UMKC professor releases virtual, interactive art gallery

Quincy Rast

Artist, linguist and UMKC adjunct German professor Tanya Kelley has released a virtual, interactive gallery on language, perception and representation.

Kelley was scheduled to give the gallery talk at the Yale Art Gallery this month before it was canceled due to COVID-19, but has now made the presentation available to the public via video and PowerPoint.

Kelley’s presentation engages the audience by having them participate in a few short interactive tasks, such as the Stroop experiment, and name and color recognition tests. The presentation allows the audience to explore language, color and the natural world virtually. 

Kelley found a way to bring her love for painting, language and history of science together as one. She’s interested in perception and how language affects that. By applying those concepts with color, she has created a beautiful passion. Kelley says she is interested in how people divide and label the natural world and believes that language is the key to exploration. 

Kelley wants to continue to communicate and show the importance of linguistics. 

“I think it’s sometimes underestimated just how important a good vocabulary is, in one language or multiple, and how it is able to connect you to things around you and open doors to other parts of the world,” Kelley said. 

Kelley’s presentation was intended to accompany artist, writer and naturalist James Prosek’s exhibit “Art, Artifact, Artifice.” Prosek’s exhibit has been postponed until fall, when Kelley hopes for the opportunity to present her gallery talk and workshop live. 

The link to her presentation discussing color manuals used by artist-naturalists and biologists and an interactive close-looking and drawing, can be found below.   

PowerPoint link:

Video link:

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