The Wasted Dream

Hooks-Epstein Galleries is proud to open 2020 by presenting "The Wasted Dream", an exhibition of works by identical twin brothers and ceramicists, Kelly and Kyle Phelps. Kelly and Kyle Phelps are Professors at private Catholic universities in Ohio. Kelly is a Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Xavier University (Cincinnati) where he oversees the sculpture department. Kyle is a Professor at University of Dayton (Dayton) where he is the head of the ceramics/sculpture department. They work collaboratively to create their artwork and share a studio in Centerville (OH). Kelly and Kyle Phelps’ work encompasses the creation of traditional ceramic, sculpture, and mixed media art. Much of their work is about the blue collar working-class, race relations, and the everyday struggles of the common man and woman. They grew up in a blue-collar/factory environment in Indiana where they were inspired by family members and friends who worked in various manufacturing plants, steel mills, and foundries. The Phelps have produced work that combines hand-crafted figurative works (clay/resin casts) with found objects from actual factory sites. Kelly and Kyle have combined gears, corrugated metal, and scrap-machined parts along with these modeled ceramic/resin cast figures to create visual narrative compositions about the blue-collar experience. It is important to the Phelps brothers to combine hand-crafted art forms together with these found objects in order to give their work an authentic sense of place and time. Kelly and Kyle’s works not only allow the viewer to visualize the compositions, but also stir the other senses. A number of found objects that the twins have incorporated into their pieces are soot-covered or soaked in cutting machine oils that emit a distinctive odor commonly found in automotive factories. The Phelps share numerous grants; regional, national, and international exhibitions; museum permanent collections; and commissions. Notable private collectors of the twins’ work are film director Michael Moore and actor Morgan Freeman. Their work has also received major reviews in notable publications such as Sculpture Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and USA TODAY.
Exhibition Dates: 
Saturday, January 18, 2020 to Saturday, February 15, 2020

News of the Layoff

News of the Layoff, 2020, ceramics, mixed media, 31 x 20 1/2 x 8"


Kelly and Kyle Phelps, "Vision", 2020, ceramics, mixed media, 21 x 17 x 8"