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Joan Phyllis Kelly

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Joan Phyllis Kelly

Awarded for service to the Arts

Born: 2 November 1938

Entered on roll: 2008


Joan is a highly respected member of the Burnie and North West Coast communities as an artist, administrator and caring and generous person. (Pamela Thorne, 2008)

Born and educated in Victoria, Joan Kelly moved to the West Coast of Tasmania in 1968. Joan has lived in Burnie since 1982 and is married with four children. 

Joan has had a lifelong interest in all forms of art and painted and drew landscapes from a young age. In addition to her long and varied career in office administration, Joan worked as an art tutor for many years, teaching drawing and painting throughout Northern Tasmania. This has included classes and workshops for Adult Education in Burnie, Wynyard, Ulverstone and Launceston. Joan has also taught at Burnie TAFE and Seabrook Christian School and been artist in residence at Launceston Preparatory School and Cradle Mountain Interpretation Centre. She has conducted weekend workshops throughout the North and North-West of Tasmania and has illustrated a number of publications including a collection of poetry titled Of Fleeting Things by Tasmanian poet and teacher, the late Elisabeth McKie Allott and Another Son Another Daughter by Queensland author Lynette Pukallus.

While Joan paints also in large format, she is renowned for her work in miniature and in 1992 became a founding member of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Society of Miniature Art (ASMA Tasmania Inc). Joan was elected President of ASMA in 2000. She represented Tasmania at the inaugural World Federation of Miniaturists (WFM) conference in London in 1995 where she also had work included in the first worldwide exhibition. Joan’s work has also been shown at the second and third worldwide exhibitions, the latter of which was held in 2004 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.  Joan attended the exhibition and conference where she was elected President of the WFM. It was at this conference that Joan successfully promoted the Burnie Regional Art Gallery and the Civic Centre Complex as venues for the fourth WFM exhibition and conference. Following this recent conference in Burnie she was re-elected for a second term as President of the WFM.

Joan has had five solo exhibitions and has had work on show in more than 160 art exhibitions throughout Australia, the UK, the USA, Japan, France and Germany. She has received a number of awards for both her large format and miniature paintings and her paintings are held in public and private collections throughout Australia and internationally.

Joan’s expertise and experience have led to her taking on advisory and mentoring roles in the arts community. She has participated in a variety of community art events, and has judged art exhibitions and school competitions in North and North West Tasmania. Joan has also sat on many advisory committees and boards and has served as President for both ASMA Tasmania and the Burnie Coastal Art Group.

Photograph courtesy of the Advocate.

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