Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois, Kelly Ciurej (kel-ē sho͝o-rā) obtained her BA in Art and Design from St. Xavier University in 2013, where she became particularly focused on photography and digital manipulations. As a lifetime native to Chicago, with time, life on the Southside became more and more stifling. In 2014 Ciurej left Chicago and started graduate school in Hawai’i.
Now that she has distanced herself, Ciurej feels an extreme draw to dissecting and interpreting both her “sticky” psychological attachment to Chicago, and the “comfort foods” associated with the concept of home. Through the use of photographs, performance, artificial materials, and digital printing processes, she is interested in the ways in which photographs distort memories and instead create invented realities. She is concerned with the dialogue surrounding the rethinking and re-presentation of photographic ‘evidence’ of familial narration; how images can be used in ways to re contextualize subject matter and to question the reality or truths of past personal events. Ciurej has worked with several non-profit organizations including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Maine Media Workshops + College. She has been exhibited nationally in both group and solo shows, and recently received her MFA from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
Kelly currently lives and works in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
[Behind the scenes footage filmed and edited by Jasmine Quiñones 2017]
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa 2017
Saint Xavier University 2013
BA (Art & Design)