Art Commissions in the Spotlight


Call Your Mother


Kelley Carman


Block, Inc.

About the Artwork

“News travels fast via the telephone. Since its inception, telephonic technology has revamped human civilization again and again. The power to instantly communicate globally has sustained the telephone’s popularity, turning it from a luxury item to a necessary part of modern life.

The telephone’s natural patina lends itself to evoking curiosity from their past. Each phone has its own story; collectively, they bring attention to their significance in history and the significance of the historical Post-Dispatch building in which they reside.

Today, the phone in the individual’s hand is often witness to and the creator of news—indeed, the creation of complete social movements—as it happens. This work is intended to tie the past of the Post-Dispatch and the Pulitzer era to today’s immediacy of news and social change.” —Kelley Carman

Installation Concept

Personal Touches

Kelley included personal touches in the installation to commemorate her life and loved ones who helped inspire the piece:

  • An olive-green telephone matches the style and color of the one used in Kelley’s childhood home
  • Handwritten notes from her parents can be found on specific phones

  • Two phones were gifted for the installation by her father

  • The Fisher Price child’s phone belonged to Kelley’s daughter

The Result

About the Artist

St. Louis-based artist Kelley Carman creates mid to large-scale compositions primarily of paint or found objects. She gives the audience time and a stage to contemplate the piece and perspective. Her use of found objects can prompt reflection in the observer, with changes in perception, utility, and evolution of necessity or obsolescence.

When using paint, Kelley builds with three-dimensional layers creating a profusion of overlapping textures, techniques, and colors, featuring clusters of architectural forms, irregular shapes, and fanciful lines. She considers “accidents” and detours an important part of her process and, by extension, the finished piece. Kelley’s works are created with an eye to scale, balance, color, and surface interest, and the end result is a strong visual statement that combines artistry, whimsy, and distinction.

Visit the artist’s website