Joan Marie Kelly is a social art practitioner, artist, and educator, who implements participatory art workshops internationally, and whose work emanates from ethnographic practices in collaboration with minority communities. Originally from Baltimore, she had moved to Singapore in 2005 to teach her craft at Nanyang Technological University School of Art Design and Media. She works mainly with oil on canvas and enjoys painting human beings in their natural habitat. We had the great pleasure of meeting her during her talk at Princeton University and developed admiration for how her work functions to build greater awareness for women in society from around the world.
“Movement before Dawn” is giving attention to women’s labor around the world. The Hindu women in Varanasi India who wake up at dawn to make their way to the Ganges River every morning to make Puja’s, a ritual prayer giving honor and reverence to their gods. The women spend hours in this ritual labor never expecting monetary returns. In a world where many people refuse to do anything without expected visible outcomes their joy to do, for a higher cause is refreshing.