Alfred Düsseldorf MFA graduate Taylor Keister

I'm passionate about building community through storytelling.

Connections emerge each time I sit down to listen and share someone's story. Storytelling through photography and the written word fulfills my lifelong desire to create work that matters.  I had the pleasure of meeting Taylor Keister during our artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France.  After years of dreaming, Taylor earned a MFA from Alfred Düsseldorf.

Meet Taylor Keister...


As a young girl, Taylor Keister dreamt of becoming an artist.

In 2020, Taylor earned her MFA from Alfred Düsseldorf.  Her dreams were coming to fruition, but the path to get there was challenging.  Taylor often felt that art was the only thing she was good at.  Fortunately, she recognized herself as a good artist, which is a great accomplishment.

Taylor was raised by a single mother who worked very hard to support her during childhood.  As a result, Taylor’s grandparents helped raise her.  Consequently, Taylor struggled when they passed.

Because her father was only in her life until the age of nine, Taylor struggled with feelings of abandonment and neglect.  Through all of life's ups and downs, Taylor remembered to always be kind.


Taylor’s father taught her how to draw and play piano.

Her dominate right brain was inherited from her father.  This her made her angry because her best attributes came from someone she struggled to connect with.  His absence helped create the happiest presence of art in her life.  Taylor’s art is often about her father and it is therapy for her.  After realizing where she came from, she appreciates how far she’s come.

While earning her BFA from Alfred University in New York, Taylor lived in Auburn and painted for a company called McKenzie & Childs.  During graduate school at Alfred Düsseldorf, Taylor studied one year in Alfred and one year in Germany.  Moving away from her mother was difficult, but it was important for her to do so.  As a result, Taylor gained independence which eventually led to finding her own voice.  During the peak of the pandemic, Taylor moved back home and became a professor.


Taylor invests her time in contemporary art by creating installations that become context in space.

She taps back into her childhood which reveals a playfulness in her work.  Taylor’s art decorates in a nuance way that is both sad and traumatic.  Pattern and vibrant color grab the viewers attention in a psychological way.  That’s the quick read she may expect from her viewers.  Taylor’s goal is to dilute the sadness so we can approach her art from a place of grace.  The longer you sit with her paintings, the more captivated you’ll become.  You may perceive her art as lonely and empty as well as still and busy.  Eventually, it slows down revealing a beautiful narrative.  These formal techniques are a way for her to express both her childhood and her personal trauma.  “My art describes how I feel, it’s autobiographical and satirical.  It pokes fun at my own shit because I’m a dark humored person,” Taylor explains. 


Taylor controls a space through installation.

It’s her goal as an artist to get the audience to come into the space, slow down, sit with the work then become part of it.  The relationship between the viewer and the work creates a collaboration which inspires her.  People recognize familiar things and experiences with her work.


Taylor loves to travel and is passionate about experiencing new things for the first time.

Joy happens for her when she feels the most present.  There’s a moment of true presence when she looks to the sky and takes in her surroundings.  It’s important for Taylor to spend time with old friends and loves making new ones.  She is proud of the education she received, but that’s not what she’s most proud of.  Taylor is proud of herself for pushing boundaries and stepping out of the small town which she grew up in.  She takes action despite being scared and her ability to connect with others is uncanny.

Adventuring to France was a whole new experience for Taylor and the artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux was her first.  Taylor thrives on creating connections by listening to people.  Listening to life over the years has taught her countless lessons.  “Anxiety and depression are crazy, the thick of it is insane.  You don’t even feel like a person, you feel like you’re watching yourself live an out of body experience,” Taylor admits.  Fortunately, she learned how to watch herself from a careful and nurturing place.  Taylor confidently admits that she’s now in a really good place.  Attending the Chateau Orquevaux artist residency and meeting new people from around the world allowed her to let go of control and let life take her on this crazy ride.  Taylor Keister walks with gratitude and trust leads her to great places.


Words of Wisdom from Taylor:

“Trust that life gets so much prettier and no matter how low you think it is, the beauty is tenfold every single time."

"Keep making art.”

"Let's change the idea that people need a structured path to follow in life and have people see that life is so much greater with freedom of flexibility."




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