Karley Sullivan


Karley Sullivan is a Los Angeles based artist whose practice is rooted in an organic drawing sensitivity. She explores phenomenology and gesture through series of photographs and/or paintings/drawings, producing a constellation of works that intersect at vivid lived experience and theoretical curiosity. She has made drawings of each the  moons of our solar system, a visual translation of chapter eight from Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space in the form of hallucinatory oil paintings, and is continually gathering photographic imagery that celebrates her multi-racial family in the American South. Her work is an on-going generation of intensely meditative studies of space, line, and body language. Her current project takes the grid as an opening into a study of psychological boundaries and the color spectrum.

Sullivan is preparing for a solo exhibition at Sloan Projects in 2017. Her work has been featured in Lensculture and Phases magazines as well as exhibited at Whitespace Gallery of Atlanta, Yogiga Artspace of Seoul, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits, and the Art Center College of Design, and her photography has been published in various publications such as the New York Times and Bomb Magazine. She holds a BFA in Drawing from the University of Tennessee, and an MFA in Photo/Media from the California Institute of Arts. 




2016 MFA, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

2006 BFA, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

2005 Study Abroad: Printmaking/Installation with Professor Cho Duck Hyun, Ewha University, Seoul, South Korea


Solo Exhibits

2017 Paradigm Split, Sloan Projects, Los Angeles CA

2016 Strange Loop, L-Shape Gallery, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

2015 Blind Field, L-Shape Gallery, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

2014 Moon/Scratch, Whitespec Project Space: Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta GA

2009 Apophenia, Sanders-Pace Architecture, Knoxville TN

2008 Nurse Shark, Yogiga Artspace, Seoul SK


Selected Group Exhibitions

2017  Animal Farm, Dalton Warehouse, Los Angeles CA

2016  Exit Intra-view, Human Resources, Los Angeles CA

2015  Gravity, Sloan Projects, Los Angeles CA

Photo LA, The Reef, Los Angeles CA

2014  Animacies, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

Post-Nickelodeon Sexuality, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

Pardon My Condition, Art Center, Pasadena CA

2013  Short Shorts, Whitespace, Atlanta GA

Impermanence, Eyedrum, Atlanta GA

Mythical Genitalia, 1010 Gallery, Knoxville TN

Art Papers Auction, Mason Murer, Atlanta GA

2012  The Billboard Art Project, Atlanta GA

From Neurology to Cosmology and Back, Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta GA

2011 11.11.11 Spectacular! Spectacular!, The Arts Exchange, Atlanta GA

Resistance, Mint Gallery, Atlanta GA

2008  Cute Like Orphan Kitties and Bastard Children, Green Gallery, Minneapolis MN & Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits, curated by Kristin Calabrese and Joshua Aster

2005  A Visit, Edae Exhibitions, Seoul, South Korea, curated by Cho Duck Hyun

Bam, UT Student Exhibition, Ewing Gallery, Knoxville TN, curated by Robert Stackhouse



2016 Calarts Interdisciplinary Award (Lead Artist)

2016 Student Union Grant, Interdisciplinary Level (Lead Artist)

2014 Bartman Photography Grant

2014-2016 David and Marianna Fisher Award

2006 Charles Pfizer Award

2005 Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship

2004 Omegacron Pi Award



Lensculture, Editor’s Pick, Karley Sullivan. May 24, 2014, https://www.lensculture.com/karley-sullivan

Phases Magazine, "Still There". May 15, 2014, http://www.phasesmag.com/still-there/

Evan Levy. ”In Whitespace’s From Neurology to Cosmology, Images Converse Amid an Ocean of Ideas.” ArtsATL. July 9, 2012 http://www.artsatl.com/2012/07/review-draft/


Selected Authored Publications

Karley Sullivan.  “One Picture, One Paragraph.”  St. Lucy.  January 27, 2014.  http://saint-lucy.com/one-picture-one-paragraph/karley-sullivan-2/

Karley Sullivan.  “Dani Planer Talks with Karley Sullivan About Picturing Empathy”  Burnaway.  October 25, 2013.  http://burnaway.org/dani-planer-talks-karley-sullivan-picturing-empathy/

Karley Sullivan. “In Conversation, Talking Cultural Records with Vesna Pavlovic”. Burnaway. September 11, 2013. http://burnaway.org/in-conversation-talking-culturalrecords-with-vesna-pavlovic/

Karley Sullivan. “Emmet Gowin and Richard Benson at Jackson Fine Art” Burnaway. July 4, 2013, http://burnaway.org/review-emmet-gowin-and-richard-benson-at-jacksonfine-art/

Karley Sullivan. ”SEEK ATL, Connecting Community Through Studio Visits” Burnaway. April 5th, 2013. http://burnaway.org/2013/04/seek-atl-connectingcommunity-through-studio-visits/

Karley Sullivan.  “Dodge and Burn: Capturing Immobility” Burnaway. June 7th, 2012.  http://burnaway.org/dodge-burn-capturing-immobility/


Professional Experience*

2017-Present Adjunct Professor of Photography, The Art Institute of Inland Empire, San Bernadino CA

Summer 2016, Site Coordinator CURRENT: LA Public Art Biennial: RIkrit Tiravanija and Chris Kallmyer, Los Angeles CA

January 2015-Present, Documentary Photographer, Community Arts Partnership (CAP), Los Angeles CA

September 2015-May 2016, Teaching Assistant to Andrew Freeman, Photo/Media Graduate Critique, California Institute of Arts

January-May 2015, Teaching Assistant to Harry Gamboa in Public Personas class, Los Angeles CA

September-December 2014, Imaging Services Archivist, California Institute of Arts, Valencia CA

2011-2014, Burnaway Staff Writer/Photographer, Atlanta GA

September 2012, Still Photographer for Alix Pearlstein’s Dark Pavement Project, Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Atlanta GA

January-August 2012, Set Design and Build, Threshold, Drama Tech, Atlanta GA

September 7-18 2011, Photographer, TBA Festival, PICA, Portland OR

August 2011-December 2011, Archival Internship, digitizing the work of Gretchen HupfelMOCA GA, Atlanta GA

August 2010-March 2011, General Internship, The Contemporary, Atlanta GA

August 2008-March 2009, Set Dressing, Sarah Sitkin Photography, Los Angeles CA