Kalei Moon Griggs


Administration Building at the Redlands campus


Hi, my name is Kalei Moon Griggs! I am a native of Los Angeles, but I now reside in San Bernardino to earn my bachelor's degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting & Drawing, and a minor in Psychology, at the University of Redlands.

I began my tenure at the University in 2018 and I am set to graduate in April 2022. I have always found ways to artistically express myself for most of my life, whether that be through drawing, painting, making sculptures, or even poetry. Throughout grade school, I knew that creating art was my passion, so I never wrote it off as a phase. Even though I was rarely ever in art classes or programs, I always tried to implement my artistic skills in any way that I could. However, it was not until I started college that I took advantage of the opportunities to artistically express myself in classes like Sculpture, Drawing, Painting, Poetry, etc. As I enter life after college, I hope to pursue a career that permits me to create and help others artistically and introspectively.


Initially, I wanted to be a Psychology major and Art minor to become an Art Therapist; now, it's vice versa, with intentions to pursue the same career path. I knew that I loved art, psychology, and poetry from the very beginning. I view my art as poetic creations of my psyche. My perfectionism specifically guides my artistic and creative intent. As a perfectionist, my art tends to be immensely detailed in color, tonal quality, and value. I let different color schemes guide me when creating, so most of my works are rich in color. My vivid sense of color and composition compliments certain concepts. I use acrylic paints and acrylic mediums to build up basic value to intricate layers of texture and aesthetic qualities in most of my artwork.

My paintings are at the intersection of realistic and figurative elements with surrealism. My artwork caters to pop surrealistic styles and themes because I have more freedom to convey my thoughts and ideas creatively. I am inspired by Pop Surrealist artwork from artists Stephen Gibb, Vladimir Kush, Leonora Carrington, and René Magritte. Their work has inspired me to create images juxtaposing conflicting emotions into unified narratives. In my painted world, I want to project the thematics of my imagination, manifesting dimensions beyond conscious articulation. With my art, I strive to visually conceptualize nonsensical scenes through unexpected, irrational, and illogical juxtapositions. I want resolve contradictory conditions of reality into an absolute reality by exploring beyond external structures to peer into unconscious interiors.


My intention for my senior projects is to create a series of paintings that focus on various concepts about my mental health. Since middle school, I have struggled with anxiety, and creating art has always helped me deal with it. However, I never addressed my anxiety in my art. I finally want to express my experience rather than keep it bottled up introspectively. With my projects, I want to find some sense of comfort in addressing my experience and the potentiality of being free from the burdens of anxiety. I aim to create Pop Surrealist scenes that visually and symbolically represent how anxiety makes me feel and the positive and negative consequences of anxiety. My paintings are metaphysical realms painted to cater to the conditions of my mind. Furthermore, I find it necessary that my art be interpreted in infinite ways aside from the one I try to convey.