My work reflects on my life experiences as a woman and as a mother. My ceramic and steel-legged figures function as catalysts for living vicariously through a child’s innocent eyes. They are directly influenced by a child’s world and the constant worry a mother carries keeping a child safe and raising them to be good respectable people in this perilous society. My figurative sculptures draw upon the viewers own reflections of their inner child, with its use of bright colors, animal imagery, playful symbols and its whimsical nature. After closer examination however, one’s innocence is intermittently surrendered from childhood to the world of adult emotions. I find these areas of mental transition and growth intriguing, and the collaborative interactions of the subconscious and conscious forces to be metaphorical illustrations of our own conversion to individualism.
One of the greatest loves of Kelly Bernings life is working with clay, and for over 20 years, she has poured her heart and soul into her work. Kelly received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics, at California State University, Chico. Between 2001 and 2012, she taught college level ceramics in Tennessee and Southern California. She currently lives in Florida where she teaches adjunct sculpture classes and works as a fulltime mom and artist. Through the years Kelly’s work has evolved into whimsical figurative sculptures. She has exhibited nationally and has been the recipient of several awards including 1st Place in the ACGA Clay and National Juried Competition and has had various publications including Larks 500 Figures book, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times Magazine and Dick Blick Artist's Resources. Kelly also enjoys making functional work.