The Life of Kelli Glancey: A Hoboken Resident + Artist

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Kelli Glancey is a Hoboken resident and local artist. She finds inspiration in abandoned buildings, the faded colors and textures on hundred-year-old cobblestone roads, and the way the moonlight reflects off of the Hudson River, in other words, all of the intricate and forgotten details of the world that aren’t noticed by the average person. Kelli’s latest collection of prints was inspired by Lackawanna Terminal and was featured in the upper gallery of the Hoboken Historical Museum in December 2019, followed by a showcase at Field Colony earlier this year. Her passion may be art, but there are many layers to the creative force that is Kelli Glancey. Learn more about her life as an artist and what has inspired her latest project.

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Falling in Love with Hoboken

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It was love at first sight, Kelli and the Mile Square. Kelli was drawn to Hoboken at the age of 19, following her first year as a student studying at Parsons School of Design in NYC. It wasn’t long before she made the move to Hoboken in 1985 for an easier commute into the city as well as to explore and set down roots in the city that swept her off her feet. Only recently has Kelli discovered that she has maternal family roots in Hoboken dating back to the early 1900s. From the beginning, she intuitively sensed it was her home away from home. Hoboken was also just a train ride away from her hometown where she continued to work on weekends for a time. She was born in Denville, New Jersey and grew up in Mount Olive township {SW Morris County} in a little town called Flanders. Kelli describes her home to have been “on a very small windy road, tucked away in the woods next door to two homes filled with wonderful neighbors,” notes Kelli. The transition to becoming a Hobokenite was seamless.

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“Coming into Hoboken at a time when politics and social class was on the forefront, I witnessed the city’s many transitions over time,” she explains. Yet, with all of the changes, her love for the Mile Square has never wavered. “It’s small-town charm, beautiful architecture, riverfront, and friendly community atmosphere,” as she describes it, has left her forever enthralled. 

Her Art

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Kelli is currently teaching Introduction to Printmaking and Screenprint, Explorations of Drawing and Color Theory at Parsons. She teaches students from many design disciplines, such as graphic, illustration, fashion, interior, fine art, and more. 

It was never much of a question as to whether or not Kelli was going to become an artist, “art had always played a significant role in my life from a very young age,” she explains. “My parents took note of my passion to draw and enrolled me in private lessons from age 5 to 15.” From there, she continued her art education throughout high school. “I had contemplated civil law and psychology but my high school teachers encouraged me to consider art school,” Kelli told Hoboken Girl

“Living as an educator and artist is challenging. Teaching has taken precedent in recent years and clients have come and gone,” Kelli explains. Therefore, in addition to her art, she is also concentrating on pursuing more commercial work, particularly, “illustrated textile design, home product sketching and illustration in editorial and publishing, all marketplaces I have worked in over the years utilizing my drawing, design, color and printmaking skills.” 

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While there are many aspects of being an artist Kelli loves, it’s the idea of “creating an extension and expression of myself through my art.” She doesn’t consider making art a job. 

Of course, like a job, it is hard work and a lot of committed time and discipline, but it is pure joy ‘to see’ what is in your mind + heart, channeled through the hand to become a tangible thing, ‘art.’ A contemplative inhale of the world around me, and exhale of images. I personally love to travel, explore cultures, and draw on location, ‘reportage’ in my sketchbooks with many mixed drawing and painting media. This is most often how I begin and it fulfills me as a voyeur,” she said. “Afterwards, as a Printmaker, I return to the studio to enjoy more controlled step-by-step processes via various techniques. I love the transformation of my initial reactive, interpretive experience from life in my sketchbooks into a range of finished works. These are primarily silkscreens, woodcuts, lithographs, and solar plate-etchings. Experimentation within the boundaries of each medium is so rewarding and fulfilling. Finally, I do believe that other interests and passions contribute greatly to my journey as a person and an artist.”

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Although Kelli has been a Hoboken resident for many years, she explains that she’s “frankly new to the local art scene.” 

Being new to it is  “why it has been so rewarding to recently exhibit at the Hoboken Historical Museum and now at Field Colony Gallery uptown. I am delighted to have begun meeting local artists, all of whom inspire me, as well as longtime and new folks in our community. In particular, I sincerely would like to thank my dear friend, fabulous local singer/songwriter Karyn Kuhl. She and her friends have been extremely encouraging of my art.”

Since plunging into the local art community, Kelli has met other local artists that have inspired her, too. 

“I’m grateful for my introductions to other creatives in our community. Shout out to Justine Uva and Patty Morale at Urban Arts, two wonderful local artists/educators who have been giving back selflessly to our community by fostering art and creativity to generations of children and adults. I recently had the pleasure of working with them developing and teaching printmaking classes for children in the Hoboken public school enrichment program. Other local artists I admire are Bill Curran, Aaron Boucher, and Ricardo Roig,” she shared.

Her Lackawanna Collection

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Many artists are inspired by the architectural genius that is our beloved Lackawanna station, but Kelli’s fascination and appreciation for the landmark was on a deeper level. 

The station compels me on many levels – both personally, visually, and historically. Built in 1907, It is an engineering marvel of its time and the last terminal still standing and operational along the Hudson River. Its history is remarkable. The architect Kenneth Mackenzie Murchison studied at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris which I am happy to share is my other home away from home. I also have family roots in Hoboken dating back to 1915. My Great Uncle worked for the Lackawanna Railroad for many years first as a brakeman and then as Yard Master,” Kelli shares.

This collection was her chance to explore her attraction to trains while bringing awareness to the importance of preservation.

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“Hoboken and my lifelong passion for trains, travel, preservation + conservation have been a part of my drawings and ideas for many years. I have marveled at this historical structure in my Mile Square City since I first took the train to Hoboken many years ago as a young woman growing up in northwestern New Jersey. Lackawanna Terminal is my Hoboken Cathedral. I continue to discover its history and I hope via this tribute that she will continue to survive, rebuild and thrive as a gateway to both NJ and NYC. Lastly, I am a lover of train travel and a firm believer in Mass Transit on an environmental level as it cuts down on automobile traffic and greenhouse gases,” she told Hoboken Girl.

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Kelli’s Lackawanna collection was featured in the upper gallery of the Hoboken Historical Museum for two months at the end of 2019. Due to the success of her unique collection of prints, she went on to showcase her art on the walls of Field Colony, another Hoboken Gallery. Her techniques for this collection included silkscreen, lithography, woodcut, and solar plate intaglio.

Beyond Art

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When Kelli isn’t working on new art projects, she is traveling the world. She can recall back to her early teenage years, in her small town, being “consumed by the vastness of the world and made it a priority to discover all of its magical cultures, places, and diversities,” as she describes. 

At one point, prior to moving to Hoboken, Kelli lived, studied and worked in France. Exploring Europe was an experience that has since been unrivaled. She currently shares part of her life throughout the year “with a wonderful man in Paris,” {so romantic}. 

Also, as a foodie at heart, you can catch Kelli hanging out with friends in restaurants around town when these local spots are open. Some of her favorites are La Isla, Karma Kafe, Leo’s, Lois & Jerry’s, and O’Nieal’s. “Special occasions, however, are always reserved for Amanda’s Restaurant,” she says.

“Hoboken is constantly evolving into a wonderful mix of past, present, and future,” as Kelli puts it. There is always more to be discovered and experimented with. Kelli pulls inspiration from her surroundings and channels them into several mediums that she has learned to master after a lifetime of creating. Her longtime passion for artistry shines through her work.  

Know of an amazing local artist? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com!

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Know of a local resident with some serious talent? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com!


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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square and part-time in Jersey City. Through playing softball for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.