Faculty & Staff

Mr. Kelly Phelps

Mr. Kelly Phelps

Chair and Professor, Art Department

Chair and Professor, School of Arts and Innovation

ML 7311
169 Cohen Center

Phone: (513) 745-3200

Fax: (513) 745-1098


  • BFA, MFA (University of Kentucky)

First Year at Xavier University:



Sculpture, Ceramics, 3D Design, Drawing, Senior Seminar and Community Arts


Kelly Eugene Phelps received his BFA from Ball State University in 1996. He earned his MFA degree in Ceramics and Sculpture from the University of Kentucky in 2000. There he studied with Bobby Scroggins, Jack Gron, Arturo Sandoval and Garry Bibbs. Immediately after grad school, Kelly along with his identical twin brother, Kyle, began to pursue careers in academia as members of the fine arts faculty at the University of Dayton where Kyle is now an Associate Professor of Art and head of the ceramics area.

In 2003 Kelly became a member of the Xavier faculty and is now Associate Professor. Kelly teaches courses in sculpture, 3D design, drawing and senior seminar. In 2007 the Community Building Institute (CBI) at XU, the Cincinnati Police Department and the Evanston Community Council appointed Kelly lead art instructor at an urban community-based art center "The Flavor of Art Studio." During the Spring of 2010, both Kelly and Kyle were awarded research sabbaticals to conduct research and produce a body of work about the modern plight of the blue-collar worker in the United States.

Kelly and Kyle's sculptures are created in a collaborative effort. Their work has been exhibited in over 110 juried, solo, invitational, regional, national and international exhibitions. Their most notable exhibition venues include: The Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY; The Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, WY; Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH; American Craft Council Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; Penland Gallery, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC; Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; California State Fine Art Gallery, Northridge University, Northridge, CA; Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Kelly and Kyle share over 130 publications. Their most notable include: Sculpture Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Jazz Press, USA TODAY, The Ottawa Citizen, Radar Magazine, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Indianapolis Star, The Detroit Mirror, Dayton Daily News, Lexington Herald, Louisville Defender, Leo Arts and Entertainment Magazine, Louisville Eccentric Observer to name a few.

The brothers Phelps have completed over 75 commissions that include many permanent, private, public and corporate collections including: the NAACP National Headquarters, Brown-Forman Company, Priddy, Isenburg, Miller and Mead Law Offices. Private collections of actor Morgan Freeman, director Michael Moore, and musician Bootsy Collins. The most notable public commission includes a life-size bronze statue of the 1960's jazz great, Eric Dolphy, on permanent display on the campus of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

Professor Phelps' professional development includes membership and attendance to many national educational organizations/conferences. He is an active member and presenter at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) as well as the National Conference on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Kelly and Kyle have conducted over 42 workshops/presentations at the local, regional and national level. Some of the most notable include: The Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD; Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC; NCORE held in San Diego, CA (2009), Orlando, FL (2008), San Francisco, CA (2007), Chicago, IL (2006); Panelist, From Academia to Community and Back: The Baltimore Clayworks Educational Circle at NCECA held in Philadelphia, PA (2010)

Kelly and his wife, Andrea, reside in the Centerville, OH area and look forward to raising a family in this community. Phelps maintains a studio with Kyle in Dayton, OH.

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