Fragments of Light


Artist Kelly Kruse describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like the medieval monks who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to awake in the viewer a sense of spiritual contemplation.

Kelly Kruse, Sonnet XVI: My Soul Thirsts, from the exhibition, My Iron Heart: Illuminations of Donne’s Holy Sonnets, 2016

Speaking of her series,  “My Iron Heart, Illuminations of the John Donne Holy Sonnets,” Kruse says: “My aim in painting illuminations of this work is not necessarily to clarify their meaning or even to add concrete visuals to Donne’s poems. The works are simply my way of grappling visually with the questions and images that arose as I studied each of the Holy Sonnets.


Kelly Kruse, Perfect, Without Limit, from the exhibition, Magnificat: Illuminations of Mary’s Song, 2017

I am wrestling with the mysteries of God and faith through this marvelous tradition of old illumination: using paper and canvas and pigment with precious metals to create a beautiful object that helps point to the one who made all things.—Kelly Kruse


Kelly Kruse, Death, where is your victory? from the exhibition, Let the bones that you have broken rejoice, 2018

The gold in most of my work represents the presence of the divine in all things, taking all shapes, present in the blackest black or the purest white.

Artist Bio

Kelly Kruse lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. She uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human longing and suffering. She has developed a visual devotional through which she wrestles with beauty, longing, and God. Her studio practice is deeply process-driven, where the process of creation and spiritual reflection is as important as the finished product. She favors highly pigmented ink, metal foil, and mixed media. Her work can be see on her website: