A couple weeks ago we hit up Kelly Towles for a little studio visit and interview (still editing, soon to come). Hopefully we can start doing these with a little more frequency; seeing an artist’s workspace in general is always sick. You get a sense of placement and wonder at how stuff gets done, ideas get implemented and in this case, the sheer amount of cans this guy has got stockpiled.
Towles’ studio and pad is nestled among DC’s historic rowhouses a few blocks from Rhode Island Ave. and 1st St.
Kelly works heavily with a lot of found materials, and his small workspace/studio is crammed with salvaged wood, tools, doors, boxes, paint and even his own screen-printing set up. Now put all that in about a 12ft. x 12ft. space.
These old gloves are sick. While the area might seem cluttered at first glance, everything has its place, and instead of items being placed haphazardly, shelving, tables and self-built racks keeps everything organized.
Kelly manages several murals sponsored and paid for by the city. While keeping a mural up might be difficult, he told us he’s got the necessary cans earmarked three times over… and then some.
Keeping it old school… you just don’t see the Mac Pro under the table.
In a city like DC, space is definitely a commodity, especially when your working on the scale that Kelly has been for the past years. But this is what being on your grind is all about. There is a hardworking, blue-collar aesthetic to his work area, from the foamed floors to the projects that are strewn throughout the room. Drills, hammers, saws and just a huge variety of tools, brushes and pens keeps this guy truckin’.
Check out Kelly’s work at his website, and expect a new landing page dropping in the near, near future. In the meantime, we dig the perspective that this cat brings to a city that people seem hard-pressed to rep. Towles definitely kept it real with us in terms of talking about his own experiences and how such a transient city provides opportunities for art and culture to flourish.
Keeping watch. Kelly, thanks for the tour and the words. We’ll be putting up a short video soon on Kelly’s thoughts and experiences.