The chances that you have seen Kelsey Montague’s work are pretty high, even if you aren’t an avid follower of street art. The gifted pen and ink virtuoso’s interactive public art is on display across the US, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Central America. Her work has even been in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. But where it’s really blowing up is on Instagram.
You’ve seen the images of people posing in front of ornate drawings of wings, pretending to hold onto a glorious cacophony of hand-rendered balloons, and miming bubble blowing in front of a wall festooned with illustrations of orbs in flight, right? These are all pieces handcrafted by Montague for the various communities that display them.
It’s not just the images (fun though they certainly are) that deliver the artist’s message. She has also added hashtags to the traditional artist’s signature, calling upon the people who interact with her work to make a declaration about themselves when they post images. She truly wants to make people feel loved and inspired by her art. She hopes that it’s a chance to escape for a moment and consider what really matters. Who wouldn’t gladly invite that into their lives? Sign me up, please.
We spoke to Montague shortly after she debuted her first original Orange County mural at Village at La Floresta in Brea, and she was an absolute pleasure. Up for discussion were her family, her work, and the reception she has received. And, we had to talk a little bit about Taylor Swift. It’s relevant. Promise.