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Kelly Yarbrough

Visual Arts

City:Manhattan, KS
Email:[email protected]


Kelly Yarbrough is a visual artist and prairie nerd based in Manhattan, Kansas. She works within an ecosystem of mixed media drawing and painting, arts administration, and community program development directly inspired by the native tallgrass prairie. Kelly holds an MFA from Kansas State University, and founded the Tallgrass Artist Residency in 2016 (now a partner program of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission). She has developed many relationships with Art and Ecology partners through her work and service leadership roles in Kansas and beyond.

Primary Program Description

Kelly has exhibited her mixed media work in a variety of venues, large and small. Her richly-layered large-scale drawings work well in spaces with larger or non-traditional walls when displayed unframed using clips. Small to medium sized works are typically framed behind glass. Kelly loves to connect with audiences about the larger context behind her drawing and painting practice and the native Kansas tallgrass prairie. As a trained Konza Prairie docent and informal educator, she looks forward to opportunities to share her knowledge of native plants and ecosystem lessons. Kelly also brings a talent for moderating conversations that explore interdisciplinary connections across the arts and other fields. She enjoys mentoring young and emerging artists, and collaborating with experts in other fields to innovate.

Program Fee
  • Basic speaking fee (up to 90min. program) associated with an exhibition of work = $270 + travel and lodging, if applicable. Special speaking programs with an extended length or requiring advanced research/preparation, such as moderating a panel discussion or presenting on a specialized topic, will be priced on an individual basis. Example topics include: Rural Contemporary Art in Kansas, Exploring Abstraction in the Tallgrass Prairie, Lessons of Perenniality, Place-based Drawing, Exploring Community Partnerships in Art, How I Started the Tallgrass Artist Residency, Kansas v. Colorado: Relationships with Fire, Small but Mighty: Change-makers in the ecosystem.

Additional Program Fee
  • Workshop fee (up to 2 hrs.) = $360 + travel and lodging, if applicable. Plus cost of supplies. This pricing is in lieu of a speaking program. If some combination of speaking and workshop or other specialty program is of interest, please inquire about pricing.

Educational Activity Information

Drawing from experience teaching in a university classroom setting, Kelly can lead a variety of technical workshops including observational drawing, watercolor, and mixed media drawing techniques. With her knowledge of prairie plants and ecosystems, Kelly can also lead on-site plein air and nature field drawing activities. Ask about combined workshop opportunities with other collaborators such as Ecologists and Field Biologists. combined workshop opportunities with other collaborators such as Ecologists and Field Biologists.

Community Activity Information

Any of the above speaking and/or workshop program offerings can be adapted for a variety of audiences and contexts including classrooms, outdoors, or even in public settings.

Support Materials

Kelly Yarbrough CV