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About Kelly Sullivan

Kelly Sullivan

The studio is open to friends and collectors by chance or appointment.

3rd Floor of The People’s Antique Store
28 N Union Street
Lambertville, NJ

Kelly Sullivan is an arts crusader.  

Born and raised in Clinton Township, New Jersey, Sullivan knew she would be an artist when she was five years old, the year her grandmother surrounded her with paint and repeated simple but encouraging words:  “Don’t be shy with the paint,” a refrain that stuck.

In her early years Sullivan focused on musical portraiture, painting those that inspired her, including Bruce Springsteen, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Pete Seeger, Jimmy Rogers and more. Her musical works graced the walls of BB Kings Blues Club in New York for years and showed in the Ambassador Gallery in Soho along side that of Jerry Garcia and Ron Wood.

Sullivan began producing multi-artist/discipline shows in the 1980’s that evolved into hands-on experiential events featuring working studios set up to introduce inner-city kids to the power of art.  Forced to worked under the constraints of a tight budget to provide a “painting experience” for guests over a week-long festival, Sullivan invented a collaborative way of painting she called FingerSmears®. Incorporating hundreds of painters, FingerSmears® use only one canvas, and no brushes.

Since that week in 1994 when Sullivan staged her first FingerSmear®, over 100,000 people from around the world have participated in her collaborative paintings. Everyone from Fortune 500 CEO’s, to rock stars and other celebrities (including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Edie Falco, Carol Burnett, Harrison Ford, and William DeFoe, among many others) have dipped their fingers in paint for Kelly. FingerSmears have continued to shape her career throughout her life.

This work led to an artist residency invitation where Kelly orchestrated a school wide integrated art exchange in Alta, Wyoming that collaborated with 7 sister schools around the world. Inspired by global aspects of the residency, Kelly launched Mighty Fingers Facing Change (MFFC). MFFC empowers and connects adolescent girls through art. She has produced Mighty Fingers Facing Change in dozens of locations around the world thus far.

Kelly Sullivan shares her humorous and moving stories from a lifetime of art crusading from classrooms, to trade shows, to remote villages around the world. Her workshops and presentations address our societal need for creativity, compassion, and connectedness. That same energy and ethos is visible in her fine art paintings as well.

Kelly travels to create art at locations around the world.  Her Lambertville studio is open by chance or appointment.