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Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff: Artist Feature

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff MFA, artist, professor

Facebook: Stone Creek

Artist Company: Stone Creek Fine Arts


I am an artist that grew up in Northern Michigan, went to universities throughout lower Michigan (Western Michigan University, Michigan State, then Indiana University), and later Texas, and have been teaching art and art history in Texas for the past eighteen years. I recently moved back to Michigan (Ortonville near Pontiac) with my family. We missed the lovely changing weather and seasons associated with Michigan and the Great Lakes.

I have been working as an Art Historian and Studio Art professor at Western Michigan University for two years now. Oddly enough, I remember when attending Western Michigan University taking a road trip to South Haven, I so wanted to be in the galleries in the area. It is interesting how time must play out a journey and sometimes one gets lucky enough to actually achieve certain dreams or goals.

The west side of Michigan plays an important part in my life as the beaches are just exquisite, and a part of my internal psyche has come from the Cadillac/Traverse City area. At the moment, my favorite part of life is sharing the history of art and also teaching students at WMU how to achieve a technical concept or expressive qualities in art. It keeps me young and a bit more aware of the changing tides of art styles and concepts.

Chocolate Slick by Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff


I am interested in the intersection of abstraction and realism in my large oil, encaustic, mixed media landscapes, still life paintings, and non-representational paintings and sculpture.  The tension of the symbolic and the literal, as well as abstract and real, provides an interesting and challenging place to dwell. Sometimes my work feels surreal, other times it might fall into the realism category, and at times, even an abstract experimental fashion with usual materials like wool, packing material, and clay being used in the same work. There is a simplicity to my work that hovers near sophistication and moodiness, thus, producing a type of calm tranquility or serenity through the use of vast areas of space. My works often draw reference to the Great Lakes region, particularly the west coast of Michigan, and also, the desert Southwest, as I have lived in both areas and find great meaning in nature regarding these two very different ecologies and cultural systems.


Probably the paintbrush, but I really love drawing with charcoal too. Recently, I have been on a big charcoal kick. I think I love the rawness of it, and if one is exceptional with ideas, the charcoal can convey a mood, from dark and scary, to light and happy. I have also been using different textures and spray paint on top of charcoal for a more contemporary approach.


I also work with encaustic paint, and often use sculpting tools that look much like picks and utensils used by dentists. These tools often help me create cavities (pun intended), holes, places that allow for more interesting textures, or vignettes to transpire. I like visceral things—on the verge of being slightly gross, but that have a more provocative or interesting quality.   

I also work with wool, poking it through a canvas from the back side. I came up with this while in graduate school several years ago.  

Opal Deep Three by Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff

A close-up of an encaustic work: I dug out the wax and created a cavity in which to place moss. There are actually three chasms in this work where I have placed items in the cavities.

I belong to the Brighton Art Guild,  Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild, and Paint Creek Art Center in Rochester Hills, and have items in shows with all three of these groups.


Kelly Ingleright-Telgenhoff is a South Haven Center for the Arts artist member. As a benefit of this membership level, we are proud to be featuring artist members on our blog. If you are an artist member and would like to be featured, email us at Interested in becoming an artist member? See more information here:

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