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Bridging Generations: Jack Boul and Brian Kelley in Conversation

Thursday, February 18, 5:30 pm EST live via Zoom

Images: Brian Kelley (L) and Jack Boul (R) in their studios. Images courtesy of the artists


Registration is free but you must sign-up to receive the link to join. To RSVP visit:

WSS is thrilled to announce the next program in our Artists in Conversation series featuring Jack Boul and Brian Kelley. These DC-area artists are six decades apart in age, yet share much in common. Both came of age as perceptual painters in a time when the art world looked elsewhere – Boul in the midst of Abstract Expressionism and Kelley in a time of digital, installation and new media. They will come together, live via Zoom, for a spirited intergenerational dialogue touching on shared inspiration and interest, an affinity for exploring light, space, underlying abstraction, and focus on the human condition. Both artists have a long history with the Washington Studio School as faculty members—Boul as one of the first and Kelley for the past six years.

About the Artists

Jack Boul, who turns 94 this month, is an artist whose body of work centers on the human condition. He is interested in the way shapes merge, how to translate what is perceived onto a surface, color before it becomes a rendered thing, how the canvas is divided and how one enters and moves around it, gesture, and painting what cannot be explained in words. A foremost artist in the Washington area for more than 60 years, Boul employs painting, monotype, and sculpture conveying the figure, landscapes, and cityscapes in intricately detailed small scale canvases, and poetic prints on paper.

Boul was born in New York in 1927 and attended the American Artist’s School in New York before being drafted into the United States Army. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1951 to study at American University where he was later appointed as an adjunct professor and taught for 15 years. Boul’s work has been exhibited widely and is in the collections of many prestigious museums including the National Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, Georgetown University, and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. He has had retrospective exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, and the Stanford University in Washington Art Gallery. To learn more about Boul, visit

(Image above: Jack Boul, C&O Canal, oil on canvas, 12x15", 1972.)

Brian Kelley, in his mid 30’s, is an artist whose portfolio includes painting, drawing, printmaking, and digital work. His work explores the abstraction of color shapes with a sense of real, observed places and things; documents buildings before their destruction; imagines what a space was once like long ago; explores what it might be like far in the future; considers the cycle of life and death through bicycle wheels and the blooming and wilting of flowers; uses strange light sources including black light to consider the limits to human perception; and turns the painting studio into an allegory for the entire world.

He received his MFA in Painting from Indiana University and a BA from the College of William and Mary. He has exhibited nationally at the Bowery Gallery (NYC), Blue Mountain Gallery (NYC), First Street Gallery (NYC), Mischarelle Museum of Art (VA), Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center (VA), Manassas Center for the Arts (VA), Brentwood Art Exchange (MD), Capital Arts Network (MD), HUB-BUB Showroom Gallery (SC) and more. Kelley has lectured at George Washington University, the College of William and Mary, George Mason University, Anne Arundel Community College, Prince George’s Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and the Washington Studio School (WSS). He is currently the chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and serves on the Board of Directors at WSS. To learn more about Kelley, visit

(Image above: Brian Kelley, Dead Amaryllis, oil on canvas on panel, 12" x 17", 2020.)


This program is supported in part by the Joan Burgess Shorey Legacy Fund.


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