In the Rossendale valley, Michael John Kelly was born in 1954. Coventry City had recruited him as a youngster because he wanted to play football. He had brief stints at Rochdale and Blackburn, but his career was cut short due to a heart condition and an injury. He worked in local industries and on construction sites after leaving school before going to Liverpool Polytechnic and Sheffield University to study art.
Since that time, Michael has worked in the fields of education, community service, and therapeutic arts. For the last forty years, he has sketched and painted. The drawing was a traumatic experience for him as a kid, especially when he was sick. He began composing poems while he was a youngster, but it wasn’t until his mother died that he took up sketching seriously. He had never visited an art gallery before the age of twenty and recalls an interview with Geoff Nuttall, an artist, writer, actor, and polymath, who urged Michael to pack it all up. He was one of the individuals who awarded Michael first-class honors four years later.
Michael has been influenced by figurative traditional painters like Mike Knowles, Nicholas Horsfield, and Robin Bowness, all of whom share a passion for drawing.
Michael has shown widely in the North West, including at the University of Liverpool, Preston Polytechnic, and the Manchester Academy, as well as with the Globe arts collective in Rossendale, where he shares a studio. He has work in public and private collections, as well as a poetry book just released.