Ben Kelly was born in central Manchester in 1974, and trained at the University of Wolverhampton and the world-renowned Central St Martins in London.
He has developed a recognizable figurative style executed in a bold, expressive way. His paintings have been described by Dr Rina Arya, one of country’s leading art critics, as following in the footsteps of Lowry in celebrating the everydayness of life, people carrying out their daily rituals and routines, without wishing or needing to be noticed. His work looks at interaction within the fabric of landscape, presenting attractive and thought-provoking narratives.
In 2006 Ben Kelly won the Football in the Arts Prize, then the second largest arts prize in the UK. Only one other painter has won the prize: L S Lowry in 1968 for his painting Going to the Match. He then became artist in residence for one year at Manchester City Football Club, providing a body of work which was nationally acclaimed and in 2009 was apart of the prestigious Notebook series of exhibitions hosted by the Michael House Gallery, University of Cambridge.
He has also exhibited at the Lowry Centre, the Lady Lever Art Gallery, The National Football Museum and the University of Salford.