J.Lynn Kelly of Hurst, Texas, was recently announced as the winner of the 5th Annual Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition.  Prior to his career as a professional artist, Kelly spent 30 years in the printing business.  His skills are mostly self-taught and just recently Kelly decided to attend Texas Christian University to work towards an art degree.  He plans to graduate in 2013. 

Kelly’s winning work, “Downtown Playground,” which offers the artist’s artistic vision of the Dallas Arts District, was unveiled in its larger-than-life format during an afternoon ceremony at The Catholic Foundation Plaza in the Arts District, earlier this month.

Veletta Lill delivered remarks on The Catholic Foundation’s contributions and the addition of Kelly’s work to the Arts District during the event.  Bishop Mark J. Seitz also attended the event along with competition judges Cindy M. Gummer, owner of the Enchanted galleries; Patricia Meadows, owner of Art Connections; and Katherine Wagner, CEO of the Business Council for the Arts. 


Pictured above:  During an unveiling and dedication event hosted by The Catholic Foundation, “Downtown Playground” was announced as the winner of the 5th Annual Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition.  J. Lynn Kelly, a professional artist from Hurst, Texas, created the winning artwork, which will be on public display for one year in The Catholic Foundation Plaza.  “Downtown Playground” offers Kelly’s artistic vision of the Dallas Arts District.  Professional artists in North Texas are invited to submit their work in the annual competition each year, and more details are available at www.catholicfoundation.com

Several judges from The Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition join the winning artist, J. Lynn Kelly, in front of his artwork, “Downtown Playground,” now on display in the Dallas Arts District.  Kelly is the fifth winner of the annual competition, and his art will be on display for a full year. Pictured from left:  Gary Skotnicki of Architexas, the architectural firm and designer of The Catholic Foundation Plaza; Patricia Meadows, Art Connections; Katherine Wagner, CEO of the Business Council for the Arts; winning artist J. Lynn Kelly; Cindy Gummer, owner of The Enchanted Galleries; and David Zvanut, 2009 competition winner. 


Winning artwork “Downtown Playground” debuts on 29’ by 9’8” Art Wall in Catholic Foundation Plaza
DALLAS – The Catholic Foundation has announced J. Lynn Kelly as the winner of the 5th Annual Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition.  His work, “Downtown Playground” was unveiled during a public dedication ceremony in the Dallas Arts District. 
The winning art will be displayed on a 28’ by 9’8” wall for approximately one year at The Catholic Foundation Plaza, which is free and open to the public and located on the grounds of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Dallas Arts District.
“Downtown Playground” offers Kelly’s artistic vision of the Dallas Arts District.  His intent was to directly involve the viewer in the District’s many art exhibition and performance venues.  He arranged the venues in his work to artfully divide the space of the picture plane, which invites the public “to dance their eyes around all of the attractions.”
Kelly, the grand prize winner, received a $2,500 stipend, in addition to having his artwork displayed in the Dallas Arts District for one year.  Two honorable mentions, Laura Moore with “Peaceful, Calm” and Susan Barnett with “The Plaza” received $250 each.
“These places [depicted in the winning artwork] represent a freedom of spirit that we must constantly nourish, making time to relax our pace so that our spirits might join with the artist’s visions and have space to unfold and enlarge,” said J. Lynn Kelly.  “Without this we risk becoming isolated and small in a world that can seem so large and uncaring. The people of the Cathedral reach out every day to show others that they do care about one another. What better place than this to display public art which reminds us of the undiminished persistence of the caring spirit, and I hope my art can in some way contribute to that.”
Earlier this year, The Catholic Foundation invited professional artists living in the North Texas area to submit proposal designs for consideration. A panel of highly respected members of the local arts community then chose the winning piece.
This year’s Selection Committee included one representative from The Catholic Foundation; Cindy M. Gummer, owner of The Enchanted Galleries; Katherine Wagner, CEO of the Business Council for the Arts; Patricia B. Meadows, Art Connections; David C. Hickman, sculptor; Pamela Nelson, Dallas artist; Gary Skotnicki of Architexas, the architectural firm and designer of the Plaza; and David Zvanut, the 2009 competition winner. 
 “The Dallas Art District is an interactive and inspirational gem in the heart of our city, and Lynn’s artwork captures the vibrant atmosphere our community is fortunate to have,” said Edwin M. Schaffler, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation.  “Each year, we are honored to showcase a talented local artist through this competition, and we know the public will enjoy Lynn’s winning artwork during their visits to the Dallas Arts District as much as we will.” 
Former winners include Marty Ray’s “Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art” in 2006, Ann Cushing Gantz’s “Trumpeting Angels” in 2007, Pamela Nelson’s “Magic Carpet” in 2008, and David Zvanut’s “Music on Parade” in 2009.  The competition will be open to artists in summer 2011, and artists are invited to visit www.catholicfoundation.com to learn about participating in future competitions.
The Catholic Foundation Plaza, dedicated in October 2006, was a gift from The Catholic Foundation to the Dallas community to commemorate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary.  In addition to the art wall, the 3,900-square-foot public space is an oasis for Dallas citizens and visitors to enjoy.
Chartered in 1955 by a group of dedicated Catholic laymen, The Catholic Foundation is a donor-focused community foundation that guides benefactors in compassionate charitable giving endeavors, utilizing extensive expertise to carry out the various philanthropic goals of its donors.  The Foundation’s planned giving programs connects donors directly with organizations they wish to support within the Diocese of Dallas and elsewhere, whether that is a home parish, Catholic school or a community-based charity.  Thanks to the generosity of donors both past and present, The Foundation has provided approximately $24 million to local organizations through hundreds of grants over the past 54 years, and donor-advised funds maintained at the Foundation have accounted for even more grants amounting to millions of dollars.  For additional information about The Catholic Foundation, call 972.661.9792.


J. Lynn Kelly
Winner of the 5th Annual Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition
“Downtown Playground”
These places [depicted in the winning artwork] represent a freedom of spirit that we must constantly nourish, making time to relax our pace so that our spirits might join with the artist’s visions and have space to unfold and enlarge. Without this we risk becoming isolated and small in a world that can seem so large and uncaring. The people of the Cathedral reach out every day to show others that they do care about one another. What better place than this to display public art which reminds us of the undiminished persistence of the caring spirit, and I hope my art can in some way contribute to that.
J. Lynn Kelly
Growing up in Hurst, Texas, J. Lynn Kelly found joy in painting, drawing and creating from a young age.  As a child, he had a desire to create “cool stuff” and hear how much others admired his creations, like his pen and ink drawings of trees.
An artist his entire life, Kelly spent 30 years in the printing business.  He became a full-time working artist six years ago after he was selected as a Featured Artist at Jazz by the Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas.  The positive experience in sales as well as crowd response convinced Kelly that he might be able to fulfill his lifetime dream of working as an artist. 
Since then, Kelly has been honored as a juried artist at the Main Street Arts Festival in 2006 and at the Cottonwood Art Festival from 2006-2008.  He was a featured artist at the Denton Jazz Festival and Huffhines Art Trails Festival in 2007, and received an honorable mention in the Texas and Neighbors Regional Juried Exhibition that same year.  He received Best of Show at Lakewood Art in 2008, the Jurors Award at Musicarte Fort Worth in 2009, and was honored with Best of Show and as a featured artist in Jazz by the Boulevard in 2010.
Kelly also is an art major at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, planning to graduate in 2013.  He decided to go back to school to expand his artistic horizons to a more narrative subtlety.  “I want to introduce art forms that are more accurately informed with the spirit of our times and better vocalize, by means of visual presentation, our common life experience, especially in how it is different from yesterday’s life experience,” said Kelly.
Both Texas Christian University and Thos. S. Byrne Construction Services display Kelly’s work in their corporate collections, along with private collectors Therese and Tom Moncrief; Henry Stanley; and Jeffrey and Regina Barnes (Grammy-award winning band Brave Combo).  Kelly’s art has been part of numerous select exhibitions in Texas, Washington, D.C., New York and more.  He is represented by galleries in Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas and even Moscow.  He is affiliated with the Fort Worth Community Arts Center – Tarrant Arts Council, Texas Visual Arts Association, Irving Art Association/Trinity Arts Guild, Visual Arts Society of Texas, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary and the Alliance of Professional Artists.
Kelly’s winning piece in The Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition, “Downtown Playground,” offers his artistic vision of the Dallas Arts District.  His intent was to directly involve the viewer in the many art exhibition and performance venues in the Dallas Arts District.  He arranged the venues in his work to artfully divide the space of the picture plane, which invites the public “to dance their eyes around all of the attractions.”
Kelly resides in Hurst with his wife Joael. 

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