Skip to content


Playfully Serious

new paintings

May 29, 2019 - July 15, 2019

KERRA TAYLOR, You Gonna Eat That?, 2019


You Gonna Eat That?, 2019

oil on canvas

42h x 29.50w in
106.68h x 74.93w cm

This is a painting of my grandma, Margie Stegeman. She is sitting at a diner table with a humongous cheeseburger and shake. At the age of 93, to be able to eat that much food, gives her a sense of vitality and youthfulness. It reinstates her strength as a woman whom has raised 12 of my aunts and uncles and now has countless grandchildren. I think we all hope to have a good, strong, and long healthy life when we get older. 

KERRA TAYLOR, Kids Go Bump in the Night, 2018


Kids Go Bump in the Night, 2018

oil on canvas

43.50h x 37.25w x 2.50d in

My brother and sister-in-law have 5 girls. While I do not have children, I try to image what it would be like to raise 5 girls let alone be a mother. I am interested in capturing that fun energy. I feel, having children would be very chaotic for me but I also feel that I have missed out on potentional happy memories by making a life choice to not have children. 

KERRA TAYLOR, Live to Tell the Tale, 2016


Live to Tell the Tale, 2016

oil on canvas (diptych)

51.50h x 111w x 2.50d in

There is a cave-themed roller coster ride at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO called "Fire in the Hole". In the entrance hangs a painting of a man dressed as a baldknobber. He is wearing a long mask with raccoon tail-shaped ears, a flannel shirt and coveralls. As their idol, I included this image in my painting with my family. They are pictured here as robbers hiding out in a cave. Unbeknowest to them, a bear also resides there. Just like you cannot stop a robber from robbing a bank, you cannot stop a bear, a force of nature. Trouble begets trouble. 

KERRA TAYLOR, We Interrupt This Program, 2015


We Interrupt This Program, 2015

oil on canvas

51.50h x 66.50w x 2.50d in

This painting is of my in-laws and husband. In this scenario, I see two people having a spat while one man sits at the table ready to eat. The space suggests a place of warmth and of home, but he is absentminded of the things going on around him. I see the painting as an internal and external dialog between oneself and the world. Ironically, I fear tornados and it is easily missed in the painting. It is also easy to take for granted the things or people that are closest to us. 

KERRA TAYLOR, This One's a Keeper, 2014


This One's a Keeper, 2014

oil on canvas

62h x 51.50w x 2.50d in

In this painting, it reminds me of survival of the fittest. I see two people using the last of their dynamite to illegally catch fish in a heavily flooded area. The hot air balloon could whisk them away to safety, but they choose to ride it out and make the best of a bad situation. 

KERRA TAYLOR, Fruitless Bargaining, 2019


Fruitless Bargaining, 2019

oil on wood panel

24h x 48w in
60.96h x 121.92w cm

I am sitting across the table from death.  I am pleading for my life but I have nothing to offer. It seems time is running out and I can't stop it. Ultimately, we age, and eventually cease to exist. The table and soft lightning creates a space for a serious sit down between two people. The space also suggests the passing of time with the weathered table and wooden wall behind the subjects. 

KERRA TAYLOR, Til Death Do You Part, 2018


Til Death Do You Part, 2018

oil on wood panel

17h x 21w in
43.18h x 53.34w cm

Depression is like the laws of marriage and partnership, you are in it until death do you part. It is something to have and to hold. It is neither a good or bad thing but something you learn to live with. 

KERRA TAYLOR, Rest My Weary Bones, 2019


Rest My Weary Bones, 2019

oil on wood panel

12h x 24w in
30.48h x 60.96w cm

As I was painting this piece, it reminded me of child's play. The words, "I got your back" kept resonating with me. I see death as a relentless being and extra baggage. He is a cumbersome weight to carry even when resting. 

KERRA TAYLOR, The Embrace, 2018


The Embrace, 2018

oil on wood panel

12h x 16w in
30.48h x 40.64w cm

I am taking comfort in accepting death. I am learning to live with it and I am learning to embrace it. I was very interested in capturing a raw emotion with this the skeleton. 

KERRA TAYLOR, The Fear, 2018


The Fear, 2018

oil on wood panel

13h x 17w in
33.02h x 43.18w cm

It is easier to shield oneself from the reality of death than to face it dead on. I captured emotion with this piece as well, but the skeleton in all of the small paintings remains emotionless. 

Press Release

K E R R A   T A Y L O R

Playfully Serious

29 May – 15 May 2019



29 May 2019 (New Orleans, LA) JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Springfield, MO—based artist, Kerra Taylor, entitled Playfully Serious. As the Grand Prize Winner of the 2018 NO DEAD ARTISTS Juried Exhibition, Kerra Taylor presents six new and four recent paintings. The works will show a variety of her narratives with her family and of her self-portraits. The exhibition will be on view from 29 May through 15 July 2019 with an opening reception coinciding with the Arts District of New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Openings on Saturday 1 June 2019, from 6-9 pm. 


The artist discusses her new and previous paintings…


I am currently working on two bodies of work that depict figurative narratives with my family and of self-portraits. I primarily paint in oils on canvas and wood panel. Painting for me is very meditative. I am intrigued by how one can manipulate a medium and light to create the illusion of space.


In my larger series, I playfully fabricate memories with my spouse, parents, siblings, and in-laws, as I fill in the holes caused by the loss of stories. I take into consideration the various personalities, quirks, and typical environments that my relatives and I live in. My paintings are embellishments of personal experiences with family. By putting them in these normal settings with such unusual circumstances, I create my own stories, both familiar and fantastic at the same time. It is in these extraordinary situations that we find the stories that are more worth telling. For every person, for every story, their interpretation of the scene will be unique. In this manner, I allow room for the viewer to enter into my paintings and complete the stories with their own past experiences.


I create these paintings by first taking photos of my family and then editing the photos in Photoshop. I often add in props and change the backgrounds in the original photos and then I paint from the photos. Sometimes the paintings evolve further from the photographs. 


However, my smaller, self-portrait paintings with the skeleton, are more intimate and serious. I am interested in exploring the human condition. I am more interested in the soul and our anatomical complexity. When you strip away the flesh, we are but skeletons. Without the soul, we do not exist but are mere scientific remnants of ourselves. I feel that these paintings are very personal and raw. For me, not only have I feared death and growing old, but I have carried around depression on my shoulders for years. I feel many viewers can relate to this feeling. 


In the title, "Playfully Serious", I feel that the narrative paintings of my family are just that, playful. Because they are fabricated memories, there isn't much truth to really knowing someone let alone having an authentic memory of that person. Just like, in the skeleton paintings, do most of my family members really know that I suffer from depression? The façade continues. 

KERRA TAYLOR (b. 1985) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting and a Minor in Art History in 2012 from Missouri State University. She received a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2016. She has exhibited her work throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Indiana. Her work has been featured in group shows in China and in Poland. Her work was curated into “Pushing Paint (Oil and Acrylic)” at The National Association of Women Artists Gallery in New York and the “Chronicles of a Future Foretold” exhibition at 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. She has been published in New American Paintings MFA editions #117 and #129. Two of her paintings are in the 21 C Museum Hotels collection. She currently teaches beginning and intermediate drawing courses at Missouri State University.





For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact the gallery director Matthew Weldon Showman at or 504.522.5471. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags:  #KerraTaylor #JonathanFerraraGallery and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.