Mary Reid Kelley was raised in the South and Midwest, in an extended family of educators, writers, and historians. She studied Art and Women’s Studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and recently received her MFA in Painting from Yale University. An interest in language, literature and history informs her work, which includes video, animation, performance, and painting. In 2008, Mary travelled to France and Belgium to research and visit the graves of 43 Yale students who were killed in the First World War. She also participated in a fellowship at the Beinecke Rare Books library at Yale, where she researched writers and artists involved in both World War One and the 20th-century avant-gardes. An avid interest in the poetry of this period led her to write the poems she performs in her videos, while their visuality is influenced by cartoons and cubism.