Forest Kelley received an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Social Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For the past three years, he has taught photography, digital art, and time-based media at institutions including Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Rochester, and Syracuse University.
His work has been shown nationally at galleries including Clamp Art (NYC) and SF Camerawork (San Francisco) and featured in publications such as Capricious, Hamburger Eyes, and The Ones We Love.
With a practice that ranges from subjective documentary photography to installations based in video and repurposed web code, Kelley's work considers the friction between subjectivity and culture—how personal psychology lives within a social ecology. His most prominent project, Michael, imagines the history of his uncle, an artist and gay man who was found dead at the base of a rock ledge—a presumed suicide—on June 14th, 1985, shortly after the first test for HIV antibody was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. Kelley is currently editing this work for a book that he plans to complete in 2018.
Kelley currently curates Hardigree Hall, an exhibition space at the Lamar Dodd School of Art that seeks to expose students to emerging critical voices within contemporary photography while activating a dialogue that privileges diversity and values photography’s inherent proximity to social engagement.