Indy Like a Local: Dr. Kelli Morgan

Who is Kelli?

Associate curator of American art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields


Q. Can you explain what you do as associate curator of American art?


That’s one of the most beautiful things about being a curator – you hardly ever do the same thing every day, as there are so many facets to the job. On a basic level, I oversee the American collection at the IMA, which means I’m responsible for the research, exhibition, and installation of American painting and sculpture from the Colonial period to 1970. More specifically, I acquire artwork, I’m a consultant on American art to other museums, I cultivate donors, I teach both grad and undergraduate students, I give gallery tours, I write, and I’m a public intellectual, so I give a lot of lectures!

Q. What are your goals for the IMA’s collection of American art?


My primary goal is to use our collection to make the American art historical narrative more truthful and holistic. IMA’s American collection has the unique ability to showcase many local and regional histories, while presenting the broader national narrative. My secondary goal, as a specialist in African-American culture, is to strengthen the museum’s holdings of historical works by artists of color.

Love by Robert Indiana, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Q. What are some exhibits and/or events coming up at the IMA and Newfields that you’re excited about?


Of course I’m super excited about my upcoming exhibition – Samuel Levi Jones: Left of Center, which runs through September 1.

Q. What are some of your favorite works on exhibit at the IMA, and what makes them your favorite?


One of my all-time favorites is Dolly and Rach. Painted by John Wesley Hardrick around 1930, it’s a beautiful rendering of his daughters that illustrates the charms of girlhood and the intimacy between sisters. Plus, Hardrick is one of Indy’s most important visual artists.

Q. Where in Indy do you like to go for a great meal? 


Right now, Salt on Mass is my jam. The sea bass is phenomenal!

Q. Do you have a favorite coffee shop or a special place for a nightcap?


That would be Bakersfield. I love their pineapple margarita. 

Q. What other local businesses do you admire/support?


City Nail Bar! It is the cutest and most relaxing nail salon downtown. I maintain two-week apppointments!  

Q. If you’re hosting out-of-town guests, where might you take them for an authentic Indy experience?


That’s a tough one, because I haven’t been here that long myself. But in the summer, I always took guests to the Canal and to Sub-Zero.
 
Q. Is there a certain place(s) you enjoy visiting for fresh air?


The Canal!

Q. Aside from the IMA, where else in the city do you enjoy viewing art?


Christopher West Presents.

Q. Have you discovered a favorite music venue?


The Jazz Kitchen!

Q. Do you have a favorite neighborhood or area of the city you enjoy visiting?


I live downtown, so I spend a lot of time along Mass Ave.

 

 

 

 

 


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Clayton Geathers List

Clayton Geathers

Indianapolis Colts Player

Kelli Morgan

Kelli Morgan 

Curator of American Art 

Jared Thompson

Jared Thompson 

Saxophonist and Restaurant Manager

George Turkette

Salumist and Owner of Turchetti's Salumeria

Brandon Burdine

Brandon Burdine

Barber Shop Owner and Barista 

Larra Overton

Larra Overton

Sports Reporter

Deborah Dorman

Deborah Dorman 

Realtor and Fashion Expert

Martin Rennie

Martin Rennie

Indy Eleven Head Coach

Chris Handberg (Left)

Chris Handberg

Indy Pride Executive Director

Josh Baker

Josh Baker

Music Club Owner and Promoter

Oreo Jones

Oreo Jones

Hip-Hop Artist

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Walter Lobyn Hamilton

Vinyl Record Collage Artist

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Yoshiko Kamikusa

Ballet Dancer

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Meredith Kong and Kelly Ryan

Ice Cream Innovators

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Jingo M. de la Rosa

Illustrator and Educator

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Josh Rush

Painter and Biking Enthusiast

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Consuelo Poland

Manager, RUCKUS Makerspace, and Executive Director, Latinas Welding Guild

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Sonja and Alex Overhiser

Food Bloggers and Authors

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Mab Graves

Artist and Illustrator

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David Ranalli

Magician and Illusionist

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Michael Pettry

Choir Director

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Andrea Hunley

Public School Principal

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Ben "Action" Jackson

DJ and Founder, Rad Summer

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Trip (Butler Blue III)

Mascot, Butler Bulldogs

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Marisol Gouveia

Zoo Membership Director

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Martha Hoover

Restaurateur

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Pedro Fernandez

Symphony Percussionist

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Hattie McDaniel

Pastry Chef, Vida

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Brian Kelly and Alex Janeczek

T-Shirt Shop Owners

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Chris Eley

Owner, The Smoking Goose and Goose the Market

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Clay Robinson

Co-Founder, Sun King Brewing

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Cole Farrell and Aric Furfaro

Writer and Exhibit Designer

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Ed Carpenter

IndyCar Driver and Team Owner

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Ersal Ozdemir

Owner, Indy Eleven soccer club

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Gary Brackett

Former Colt Linebacker and Owner, Brackett Restaurant Group

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Beth Chappo

Blogger, Seersucker + Saddles

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Jamie and Martine Locke

Fine Artist and Musician

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Julia Moffitt

News Anchor, WTHR

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Julia Whitehead

Executive Director, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

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Mali Jeffers

Director of Marketing and Community Initiatives, Ambrose Property Group

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Peter Dunn

Personal-Finance Guru/Comedian

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Polina Osherov

Executive Director, Pattern

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Sam Cronk

Hair Stylist

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Tamika Catchings

Former WNBA Star, Indiana Fever

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Erin Edds

President, Garden Party Botanical Hard Soda

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Frank Mickens

News Anchor, CBS4 This Morning

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James Hinchcliffe

IndyCar Racer, Contestant on Dancing with the Stars

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Januarie York

Spoken-Word Artist

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Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine

Stars of HGTV's Good Bones

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Neelay Bhatt

TedX Speaker

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Shane Brown

Chalk Artist and T-Shirt Shop Owner

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Charlie Kimball

IndyCar Racer

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Ben Hardy

Owner, The Gallery Pastry Shop

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Kimberly Schrack

Owner, Manayunk Calligraphy

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Robin Staten

Founder and Owner, Tiny Urban Escapes

Maria Romaine Brace

Maria Romaine Brace

Owner, Like the Lettuce: Fitness + Health Coach

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