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Biography

Kelli Lien was born in 1958 and raised on her parents' hobby farm in the woodland area of northwestern Minnesota.  She developed her love of art, nature, and all animals at an early age.  She has painted routinely since the age of ten.  She credits her mother for always providing her with paints and supplies and never complaining about making a mess.  She began her serious focus on learning watercolor, as an adult in the 90's, while living in the Black Hills of South Dakota and raising her two sons.  During this time period, she became proficient with the medium and was active in artist groups who met to learn, share, and exhibit.  She taught watercolor painting to adults, youth, and small children.  Although she took a number of classes from well known regional watercolorists she considers herself primarily self-taught.  Kelli has been an award winning watercolorist for over 15 years and is a signature member of the Red River Watercolor Society.  Kelli received the Artist Fellowship Award by Region 2 Arts Council in Bemidji for 2017-2018.  During the pandemic which followed, she added book arts to her repertoire.  After taking a wide variety of classes, including printmaking, bookbinding, and creating one-of-a-kind Artist Books, Kelli is on track to achieve her Core Certificate in 2024 through Minnesota Center for Book Arts.  She is also a published collagist.  Kelli is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation of the Ojibwe.  She is a wife, mother of two sons and a sweet little girl dog named Stella.  She now lives in the northwoods of Minnesota close to where she grew up.

Artist Statement:  I am an artist by nature and possess a daily need to be creative.  I happily work among a variety of mediums and genres, in both two and three dimensions, in projects both large and very small. 

Kelli in black shirt.jpg
Publications

2024     Native Arts Resource for Schools, Minnesota Department of Education, 
              Grades K - 12

2024     Spring Thaw, annual literary and art magazine, published by faculty and students at

              Minnesota North College - Itasca, Grand Rapids, MN

2018     National Collage Society

2017     National Collage Society

Signature Membership Achieved

2014     Red River Watercolor Society



Select Shows, Exhibits & Special Events


2024  31st Annual Juried Watermedia Exhibition
            Red River Watercolor Society, Moorhead, MN


2023  Art at the Atrium, Essentia, Red River Watercolor Annual Members' Exhibit
            Fargo, ND

2023   15th Annual Illustrated Accordion Exhibition
            Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Kalamazoo,  MI

2022   San Diego Book Arts
            Presented a watercolor & collage demo to a live national audience via Zoom.  


2021    Duluth Art Institute Annual Members Show, Group Exhibition
            The Depot, Duluth, MN

2019    First Place, Transparent Watercolor 
            Artists of Minnesota Spring Show - May 2019, Pier B Resort, Duluth, MN
 
2019    Fellowship Exhibit - Solo Show 
            February & March 2019, The Wild Hare, Bemidji, MN

2019    Group Show -
Lake Superior Watercolor Society
             Duluth Pottery, Duluth, MN

2018    25th Annual Juried Watermedia Exhibition
            Red River Watercolor Society, Moorhead, MN

2017    Artist Fellowship Award, 2017-2018
            Region 2 Arts Council, Bemidji, MN

2017    25th Annual Juried Art Exhibition
            MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, MN 
 
2014    Bronze Medal, Member's 18th Annual Exhibition
            Northern Plains Watercolor Society, Rapid City, SD
 
2014    Golden Award, 21st Annual Juried Watermedia Exhibition
            Red River Watercolor Society, Moorhead, MN

2012    Silver Medal, Member's 17th Annual Exhibition
            Northern Plains Watercolor Society, Rapid City, SD

2011    18th Annual Juried Watermedia Exhibition
            Red River Watercolor Society, Moorhead, MN

2008    Recognition Award, 15th Annual Juried Watermedia Exhibition
             Red River Watercolor Society, Moorhead, MN

2008    Merit Award, Member's 13th Annual Exhibition
             Northern Plains Watercolor Society, Rapid City, SD

2008    Honorable Mention, Member's 13th Annual Exhibition
             Northern Plains Watercolor Society, Rapid City, SD

 

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