Dr. Trish Kelly

Dr. Kelly was appointed Interim President June 1, 2023 and takes on the interim role following four years of service as ECU’s Vice-President Academic + Provost. She says she looks forward to furthering the crucial work led by President Siddall during her five-year tenure. Dr. Siddall’s leadership on priorities including advancing institutional decolonization, climate action and the university’s new strategic plan have ushered in an exciting time of change for ECU, she says. Dr. Kelly remains committed to working closely with community members from across the university to ensure this work remains front and centre.

“Emily Carr is all of us. As a community, we make and remake the university every day,” Dr. Kelly says. “And it’s a hopeful, optimistic time at Emily Carr because we’re changing our reality in scrappy and supportive and, quite frankly, wildly interesting ways. That work has been and continues to be led by faculty, students, and staff. I’m honoured to have this opportunity to support it.”

An extensive record of service across the university places Dr. Kelly on solid ground as she begins her new role.

“Throughout her career, Trish has maintained a steadfast dedication to community engagement and student empowerment,” Dr. Siddall says. “She is principled, caring and collaborative, and believes in Emily Carr as a driver of meaningful social and cultural change. I am thrilled that the university will be in her capable hands as it turns the page on its next chapter.”

Having first joined Emily Carr as an associate professor in the Faculty of Culture + Community in 2011, Dr. Kelly served as assistant dean of the faculty from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, she received the Ian Wallace Teaching Award which recognizes excellence and innovation in teaching. In 2017, she was appointed associate dean of the Master of Fine Arts program.

Further, Dr. Kelly has served on ECU Senate and the Board of Governors, as Vice Chair of Senate, and as chair of the Curriculum Planning and Review Committee. Since 2021, she has been a board member with Great Northern Way Campus and chair of the Academic Governance and Strategic Planning Committee. She is a member of the AICAD DEI Task Force and was a board member with Food Stash Foundation from 2018 to 2021.

Originally from the United States, Dr. Kelly holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She earned an MA from Tufts University after beginning her graduate work at Harvard University. She obtained a PhD in art history from the University of British Columbia.

In 2004, she joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at DePaul University in Chicago, an institution known for its commitment to social justice and open-access education. She worked in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and in the Honours program until joining Emily Carr. While in Chicago, she curated a major exhibition on the artistic response to the events of 1968, funded by the Terra Foundation.

Her area of research is contemporary art history, including minimal art and abstraction, art and activism, alternative art networks, and duration in new media production. Her articles have been published in Art JournalAmerican ArtInternational Journal of Art & Design Education, and The Journal of Curatorial Studies, among others.