Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

I Like Your Work: Conversations with Artists, Curators & Collectors

Mar 29, 2024

John Paul Kesling (b. 1980, USA) was born and raised in Northeastern Kentucky in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He received his BFA in Arts from Morehead State University (Morehead, KY, 2003) and spent a summer in Europe studying art history (Summer 2002). He went on to receive his MFA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA, 2010). He spent the next six years in Brooklyn, NY immersed in the NYC art scene. In March of 2016, while attending a month-long residency at The Vermont Studio Center he realized how integral time, space, and nature were to his studio practice and in 2016, relocated to Madison, TN, just outside of Nashville.

His work has been featured in various group exhibitions at Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL), Lowe Mill (Huntsville, AL), Gallery 85 (Chelsea, NY), The Parthenon (Nashville, TN), CultureLab LIC (Queens, NY), Piano Craft Gallery (Boston, MA), New York Hall of Science & SciArts Initiative (Queens, NY), Prince Street Gallery (New York, NY), Flatwork Contemporary (online), I Like Your Work Podcast (online and print), ArtMaze Mag (online and print), Create Magazine (online) and the NYC Crit Club Winter Session 2023 (curated by MEPAINTSME). In 2022 he was accepted to the White Columns Curated Online Artist Registry (New York, NY). His work is included in the permanent collections of The Savannah College of Art and Design (Atlanta, GA and Lacoste, France), Vanderbilt University Medical Center Community Arts Initiative and Soho House Nashville. He has attended artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Art Residency Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN), Azule (Hot Springs, NC), Jx Farms (Cleveland, MS), and Mudhouse (Crete, Greece). He has had solo shows at Wheelhouse Arts (Louisville, KY), Oz Arts (Nashville, TN) and The Red Arrow Gallery (Nashville, TN). 

He has an upcoming residency at On:View Artist Residency at Sulfur Studios (May 2024, Savannah, GA) and a solo show at The Ellis Gallery at Sulfur Studios (July 2024, Savannah, GA). In April, 2024 he will also be included in a group exhibition at Tyger Tyger Gallery (Asheville, NC). In 2024, Kesling will also be showing in two-person shows at The Gadsden Museum of Art (Gadsden, AL), Wheelhouse Arts (Louisville, KY), and Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL). 

Kesling is a member of the artist collective at Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL) and is represented by The Red Arrow Gallery (Nashville, TN) and Wheelhouse Art (Louisville, KY).

"My practice delves into the complexities of human intimacy, both romantic and familial. After the death of my younger brother and many of my friends to the ongoing opioid epidemic of my Appalachian hometown and the country at large, my own mortality became embedded within my active mark-making. Driven by a need to understand the world around me, my work serves as a visual exploration of the emotional and psychological intricacies of relationships, personal loss, and our place in the natural world. Imbued with a deep sense of nostalgia, the work harkens back to the excitement and vulnerability of new human connections and experiencing nature in a new light. For me, painting is as necessary as digging in the dirt - dragging your hand through a body of water - across a freshly buzzed head."




Artist Shout Out: 
Brett Douglas Hunter @brettdouglashunter
Marlos E'van @marlosevan
Lindsy Davis @lindsydavis_

I Like Your Work Links:

Check out our sponsor for this episode: The Sunlight Podcast:

Hannah Cole, the artist/tax pro who sponsors I Like Your Work, has launched Business Deduction Deep Dive: 

For artists and self-employed creatives. and is everything you need to know about self-employed tax deductions.

It’s just $97 and one hour to save you thousands on your taxes, this year, next year, and forever.

Get it at


Chautauqua Visual Arts: 2-week residency