Kelly Kronfeld rises early and stays up late to plan art classes, schedule instructors, buy supplies and work down stacks of paperwork. Her life is much like a Jackson Pollock painting–a mixture of controlled and unpredictable factors. What drives Kelly is not money or recognition, it’s her turbo-charged passion to introduce everyone she meets to their creative potential.
I connected with Kelly at a local art festival where I painted my hand blue and pressed it on a canvas with other hands in a random pattern. The message was clear; while people come in different colors, shapes, and sizes we’re inherently the same. I’ve been a huge Kelly fan ever since.
Pearland, Texas is a growing community about 20 miles south of central Houston. It’s home to well-educated professionals employed in the Texas Medical Center and central Houston among other places. Pearland is fertile country for new businesses and families putting down roots.
In 2013, Kelly started Art & Kustom Kreations in Pearland to provide art activities for adults and children in their homes or businesses. Party events and themes for children caught on and her mobile outreach programs proved to be profitable. The outreach programs helped to build name awareness, and clients were more than happy to spread the word. On a back burner, Kelly was dreaming about a new chapter, a studio where she could teach students and have time to paint.
Using money from her savings and support from family and friends, Kelly opened her studio in 2016. Classes and painting events grew, but so did the work load with summer camps for kids and evening classes for adults and kids. The outreach programs continued to expand with new programs in schools and after school. I saw Kelly at art shows, festivals and other city events where her passion for art invited everyone to grab some chalk and unleash their creativity on sidewalk canvases. I did and it was fun.
“I feel empowered when I make choices that stretch my thinking. As a teacher, having my own business seemed impossible. Yet, here I am, hard work and commitment made it happen. And a passion for art. I’m not a master of all trades by any means I had lots of help and encouragement,” Kelly said.
To serve the community, Kelly formed The Foundation for Creative Leadership, a non-profit that strives to development leadership skills in children and adults by encouraging artistic expression and awareness of self and others. One of the Foundation’s recent projects was a permanent mural of hands much like the one I participated in. When time allows, Kelly also works on large scale mural projects in the Pearland and Houston area with mural artist, Chris Garcia.
I’m wondering what the next chapter for Kelly will be. I’m betting on the Foundation and collaborations with other non-profits to increase appreciation of art leadership and original art.
A young woman with a passion for art can do anything.