The Kelly Fitzpatrick WHAT?

You know, the KFMG or KGMF or KF? The name was always a mouthful to remember, so it was shortened to The Kelly, which officially stands for The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery. Or at least it DID.

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a famous quotation from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It refers to the power of names and calls attention to the family names that keep the young lovers apart and lead to the tragic ending.

We are sure there’s no such tragedy at The Kelly, but the name “gallery” simply wasn’t sufficiently descriptive. According to President Belyn Richardson, “We are MORE than a gallery.” That is so true. The Kelly is actually a non-profit community art center, as we like to explain to visitors. Galleries seem to be for upper crust artists. Museums seem old and stuffy. The Kelly is young and vibrant and open to all in the community. It reaches out to children, runs workshops, gives scholarships, hosts plein aire artists, has exhibits open to amateurs as well as professionals. It hosts lectures and celebrates with receptions. It opens its arms to tourists and has a shop to sell gifts and mementos. It rents space to the community for meetings, parties and even weddings. Yes, it’s a museum, yes, a gallery, but as Belyn says, “MORE than a gallery.”

So the Board decided it was time for a new name. What better time than when there’s a new building on the horizon? The new name is “The Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts.” It’s a center, a gathering place, and home for art and artists in the area, just as Kelly himself would have wanted. His goal was to educate and inspire aspiring artists and help them get recognition. We continue, not merely a museum to encase his work, but as a monument to his goals, a working, living, breathing, painting, creating center…for the arts and the artists in the community.

L. Christensen, 1/6/23

Kelly Center in Progress by L Christensen