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Main Judge – Outstanding Work of the Festival, Works on Paper and Sculpture – Gretchen Keelty

Gretchen Keelty

Current Arts Connect President, Gretchen Keelty, is a Sunshine Coast artist who has lived, studied and worked in various parts of Australia and the world. Classically trained at the Julian Ashton Art School, then at the Shillington College of Design, she completed her Masters of Fine Art Production in Valencia, Spain. Her work has been commissioned, collected and exhibited in various locations, from the Sunshine Coast and Sydney to the United States, Ecuador, Peru and Spain. In 2021 she was one of the judges of Roma’s Inaugural Sculptures Out Back.

Gretchen works across a number of media and disciplines. Her background in biology and anatomy influences much of her practice and she loves to tell a good story, through her work and in person. Passionate about nature, many of her works have been developed in collaboration with biologists and agro-ecologists, examining ecosystems and biodiversity.

As the current President of Arts Connect, she is working towards creating a platform of greater economic sustainability for artists and arts in the region through collaboration, training, networking, exhibition opportunities and public education about the value of art.

“Art is an experience. As artists we can create entirely new perspectives for our audiences. We can change the way people think and feel about things in one moment. That transformation is the platform for change. Art is the most effective superpower that we have at our disposal.”