Bell Museum Exhibit Features Artist’s Life-long Dedication to Nature


A focused exhibition of Minnesota artist Kellie Rae Theiss’ work is on display at the Bell Museum of Natural History through December 6. An exhibition of more than 35 paintings incorporating a variety of mediums, the “Feathers and Fins” exhibition is the product of nearly 25 years of observing and close study of the birds, fish, insects and plants of Minnesota and Nebraska.

 “I attempt to relate to the viewer how beautiful, fragile and brief are the creatures in their physical world, said Theiss. “I also intend parallels to be pondered regarding our coexistence with theirs.”

From her early years in northeast Nebraska to her present northern Minnesota studio, a love of nature has driven Theiss’ creativity. She researches each subject extensively to gain an understanding that gives her strong portraits a unique perspective that draws in viewers. Theiss’ technique is based on the Renaissance masters she studied while training in Florence, Italy. The layers she builds are of marble, dust, pencil, ink and pigment to create depth.

“Kellie views the world around with the eyes of a poet and artist,” said the Bell Museum’s Jennifer Menken, who is coordinating the exhibition. “Her take on the natural world is both exacting and a bit surrealistic—an approach that has earned Kellie a strong following in the Midwest art community.”

Theiss will discuss the exhibition during a gallery tour at the Bell Museum on Wednesday, October 7 at 5 p.m. No reservations are needed, but space is limited.

Admission, hours and location information for the Bell Museum can be found online at or by calling 612-626-9660. The Bell Museum is part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

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