J.Keith Donnelly is an interdisciplinary visual artist working across a range of media. Keith is particularly well known for his sculptural accomplishment, observational,+ architectural drawings, and is equally recognized as a materials expert in architectural and industrial grade ceramic, iron, glass, granite, aluminum, and concrete. Keith’s modeling and low relief sculptural techniques in architectural ceramics resulted in his receiving the Saltire Award soon after graduate studies in Dundee.
Keith initially studied civil engineering at Dundee College of Technology and later Visual Arts and Studio Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone Art and Design (University of Dundee). His ability to work across architecture, design, and sculpture enabled him to assist in the establishment of the first Scottish public art delivery programme, as well, as contribute to its development.
Working as a Junior Assistant to mentor Town Artist with Glenrothes Development Corporation (and later well-known Head of Environmental Arts at Glasgow School of Art) David Harding, Keith gained first hand experience in the delivery of interdisciplinary urban planning and public art projects which was later extended through an Assistant opportunity, under the direction of Malcolm Robertson ( former ‘New Town’ Artist Glenrothes).
Following a further Post Graduate opportunity at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Keith was involved with several commissions in Dundee including two with the Blackness Public Art Programme. From this position, Keith became identified as Scotland’s last New Town Artist in Public Planning for the East Kilbride Development Corporation, which extended over a period of 10 years. In this role Keith worked collaboratively with architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, and planners to design integrated pieces of public art for new civic and private developments and establish opportunity for other artists.
Since the conclusion of the New Town Public Art Program, Keith has been further engaged in public art management launching several well-recognised artist led and community engagement initiatives. Of note, Keith was the main liaison and working over several years with acclaimed artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay in the co-ordination, production, delivery and acquisition of Finlay’s sculptural work, Cythera, for South Lanarkshire Council.
Since the beginning of 2016 Keith has been working on public art research work in Latvia and in Finland. In 2017 he has been included in exhibitions celebrating the representation of ecological environments in urban environments in the Baltics through the Helsinki International Arts Programme at Mustarinda Arts Centre.