Kelley S. HestirSculpture

Artist Statement

Curriculum Vitae

Galleries & Exhibitions

Artist's Statement


Kelley S. Hestir is a nationally recognized artist focusing primarily in sculpture of various media including bronze, glass, clay, polymers, performance and light & sound installations. An accomplished illustrator and graphic designer, Kelley has extensive experience in architectural concept, publication and museum exhibit design, working in both digital and natural media. Her current sculptural work focuses on allegorical expressions of animals and the human form: “I’ve never been constrained by media and feel comfortable working in the newest and the oldest materials. My interest and imagery is inspired by nature - landscapes, animals, organisms - my love of craftsmanship and a deep connection to art/history."


Kelley has an MFA from the University of Hawaii where she taught sculpture. She currently teachers at the NMSU Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces. Kelley is a founding member of Art Forms Artists Association of New Mexico and “For the Love of Arts Month (soon to celebrate its 15th year) and is a current member of the West End Art Depot artist cooperative.


Kelley exhibits internationally, has numerous public and private commissions and is best known in the region as concept artist, site designer and sculptor of the “Bataan Death March Memorial" at Veterans Park in Las Cruces, NM, for which she received the  Doña Ana Arts Council 2012 Art in Public Places.


Bataan Death March Memorial


Kelley is the concept artist, site designer and sculptor of the “Bataan Death March Memorial" at Veterans Park in Las Cruces, NM.

Curriculum Vitae






College Instructor, Art

Dept. of Arts and Humanities, Doña Ana Community College, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM              2013 - 2014

Instructs NM Common Core Area V, ART 101G. A multicultural examination of the principles and philosophies of the visual arts and the ideas expressed through them. Content includes multi-media presentations, emphasis on understanding art vocabulary through class participation and discussion; experiential learning, collaboration; introduction to materials and techniques.


Sculptor, Site Designer, Project Manager, Film Producer

City of Las Cruces & Bataan Death March Memorial Committee, Las Cruces, NM; Berkeley, CA.                  2001-2003, 2007-12

Concept, design, and sculpting of eight foot tall figurative bronze for "Bataan Death March Memorial," a federally funded

$200,000 + project for Veteran’s Park. Concept, design, and facilitation of memorial walkway; site construction and interpretive panels. Project managed out-of-state foundry production, budget and sub-contracts. Designed and produced promotional materials including; posters, illustrations, photographs, statuettes, programs, logos and graphic renderings accessories and apparel. Executive producer and consultant for documentary film “Bataan: The Making of a Memory” by filmmaker Stephanie Dove. Supervise and organize annual conservation of site with NMSU art students. Planning and promotions for 70th anniversary

re-dedication events.


Sculptor/Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Artist

Las Cruces and Albuquerque NM; Honolulu, HI; Guam, Mariana Islands                                                                 1980-present

Design, production, and exhibition of art in 2-D and 3-D media. Example of projects includes sculpture, painting, drawing, print advertisement, graphic design and illustration, photography, newsletters, websites, corporate images, architectural design and illustration, brochures, fund raising promotions, posters, premium items, package design, characters, product development, (design, prototype, quality control and marketing). Also responsible for project management, estimates, out-sourcing, and

quality control.


Fine Arts - Instructor

Las Cruces Museum of Fine Arts, Las Cruces, New Mexico                                                                                      2005-2008

Teaching ceramic clay hand-building, sculpture and color techniques as applied to portrait and animal sculpture. Developed curriculum for beginning and advanced students. Lectures included historic context and introduction to art vocabulary.


Catalog Editor

Vice President for Student Services, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM                                                   2004-2006

Editing, layout, print management and distribution of the NMSU undergraduate and graduate catalogs. Includes gathering information from over 60 sources in administrative and academic fields; developing content; maintaining accuracy; proofing; improving processes, technical writing, instruction/training and designing administrative forms, record management and

archiving. Responsible for managing the budget, bidding process, software/hardware updates and interview/hire/supervising student employees.


Art Director -Assistant Editor

State Bar of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM                                                                                                            2003-2004

Created new cover-to-cover design for the sixty year-old weekly publication New Mexico Bar Bulletin. Production and assistant editing for over 35 issues including client directed display advertising. Design, production and editing of the quarterly publication New Mexico Bar Journal and the annual New Mexico Bench & Bar Directory. Design and production of public information pamphlets series, newsletters and publication inserts for various legal organizations.


Exhibit Design Specialist

New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum; Las Cruces NM                                                                              1999-2001

Assisted in the design, planning, development and production of exhibits for 23 acre facility including master design concepts, architectural design, technical drawings, interpretive drawing and illustration, interior exhibit production and installation, way-finding systems.


Concept Artist/Designer/Illustrator - Commercial Land Development

Mercado Ventures & Boldt Family Trust; Las Cruces NM                                                                                          1995-2001

Researched, developed and designed client themed guidelines for a 32-acre commercial development “Mercado de La Mesilla.” Designed and produced full-color architectural designs and renderings for presentation to Las Cruces City Council, Zoning and Planning Committee and for use by engineers and builders. Designed, developed and produced promotional art, posters, corporate images, graphics, and advertising.


Media Specialist

NMSU Agricultural Communications, Las Cruces NM                                                                                               1997-1999

Designed, illustrated and copy edited retail CD/video packaging and promotional brochures for multi-media products/events; Successfully submitted over 70 educational titles to the New Mexico Dept. of Education's "Book Adoption" program


Adjunct Faculty - Lecturer, Assistant Instructor

Department of Art and Art History, University of Hawai’i, Honolulu HI                                                                          1987-1995

Taught Intro. to 3D Composition, Small Scale Sculpture (fine metals) and Figure Modeling. Assistant instructor in Welding, Bronze Casting and Introduction to Art. Developed introductory course with emphasis in writing, vocabulary of art, historic relevancy, performance, new media and collaboration. Instructed on numerous materials and techniques including the use

of drawing, video, power tools and equipment in wood shop and foundry environments; responsible for safety monitoring,

multi-media equipment and operation, classroom equipment and supplies, and security of lab. Class sizes ranged from eight

to 300 students.


Art Director, Production Director

Glimpses of Guam, Glimpses of Micronesia, Agana, Guam                                                                                      1980-1983

Designed and produced 80-page, full color, quarterly magazine Glimpses of Micronesia printed by China Color, Taipei, Taiwan. Responsible for editorial themes, design, production and layout of issues including all in-house advertising. Responsible for art direction of studio photography, photo editing and visual concepts for advertising campaigns.





Post-Graduate Studies  1991-2015       Over 70 credits at undergraduate and graduate level in a variety of science and art topics

Master of Fine Arts               1991        University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

Bachelor of Fine Arts            1986        University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM





Artist of the Year, nominee 2014, Artforms Artists Association of NM

Juror - Arts International 2013, El Paso, Texas

West End Art Depot Artists Cooperative

Bataan Death March Memorial 70th Anniversary Planning Committee

ArtForms Artist's Association of New Mexico co-founder, past president

For the Love of Art Month, co-originator

El Paso Arts Association

NM M.E.S.A. Regional Design Science and Engineering Competition, judge

Madison Who’s Who

NMSU Sustainability Council

NMSU Community College Round-Up, presenter

NMSU Spring Summit Planning Committee

Student Technology Advisory Committee (STAC,) staff representative

Design Committee, Las Cruces Downtown Revitalization

Communications Committee, Las Cruces Downtown





Las Cruces Magazine (NM)

Las Cruces Sun-News (NM)

The Las Cruces Bulletin (NM)

El Paso Times (TX)

Albuquerque Journal (NM)

Amarillo Globe (TX)

The Taos News (NM)

The Ink (NM)

Desert Exposure (NM)

New Mexico Magazine (NM)

Gateway Magazine (NM)

Southwest Senior (NM)

Malamalama Magazine (HI)





2015 “Tucson Sculpture Fest” Tucson AZ

2014 "Amimals and Allegory" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces, NM

2014 Spring Selections, Adobe Patio Gallery, Mesilla, NM

2014 "Members Show" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces, NM

2014 "Wild Hearts" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces, NM


2013 "Real People 2013" Northwestern Area Arts Council (The Old Courthouse Figurative League) Crystal Lake, Illinois

2013 "Members and Friends" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces, NM

2013 "Nudes" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces, NM

2013 "EstrogenFest 2013: the Women of We.AD y Amigas" West End Art Depot, Las Cruces NM

2013 Featured Artist, Adobe Patio Gallery, Mesilla NM


2012 Featured Artist, Adobe Patio Gallery, Mesilla NM

2012 Featured Artist, The Studio Space and Gallery, Silver City NM

2012 Featured Artist, The Main Street Gallery, Las Cruces NM


2011 “Arts International” El Paso Artists Association, El Paso TX

2011 Featured Artist, Adobe Patio Gallery, Mesilla NM

2011 “Weekend at the Galleries” The Studio Space and Gallery, Silver City NM


2010 Featured Artist, Adobe Patio Grand Opening, Mesilla NM

2010 Featured Artist, Main Street Gallery, Las Cruces NM


2008 “Instructors 2008, "Instructors 2006", Las Cruces Fine Arts Museum, Las Cruces NM


2006 "9th International Shoebox Exhibit," invited, Hawaii, traveling international

2006 "Instructors 2006", Las Cruces Fine Arts Museum, Las Cruces NM


2005 "Life and Leisure", Main Gallery, University of Hawaii, Honolulu HI

2005 "Form, Fashion, Function", White Raven Studios, Las Cruces, NM

2005 "Ten Couples Who Love Art", White Raven Studios, Las Cruces NM

2005 "Fabulous Felines", Blue Gate Gallery, Las Cruces NM


2003 "8th International Shoebox Exhibit", juried in Honolulu, Hawaii, traveling international


2002 "For the Love of Art", Alegre Gallery, Mesilla, New Mexico


2001 "Drawings- Works on Paper", Adobe Patio Gallery, Las Cruces, NM

2001 "ArtForms Annual", Branigan Library, Las Cruces, NM


2000 "Nueves Direcciones en el Arte", Exhibit Centro Cultural Universitario, Chihuahua, Mexico

2000 "Artists of the Southwest", Hubbard Museum of West, Ruidoso, NM

2000 "For the Love of Art", Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art and Culture, Las Cruces, NM

2000 "Art Expressions", First Unitarian Church, Las Cruces, NM


1999 "The Human Figure", Stele Gallery, Dona Ana, NM

1999 "For the Love of Art and Agriculture", NM Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces, NM


1998 "New Artist Exhibition", Glen Cutter Jewelers and Art Gallery, Las Cruces, NM

1998 "For the Love of Art" at: City Hall, Las Cruces, NM

1998 Blue Teal Winery, Mesilla, NM

1998 New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum


1997 "Las Cruces Annual Arts Hop" Glen Cutter Jewelers and Gallery, Las Cruces, NM

1997 "6th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibit", juried in Honolulu, Hawaii, traveling international


1996 "Arte del Camino Real", Adobe Patio Gallery, La Mesilla , NM, annual

1996 "Border Artists and Buddies", Adobe Patio Gallery, La Mesilla, NM, annual


1995 "5th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibit", juried in Honolulu, Hawaii, traveling international

1995 "Arte De Camino Real", Adobe Patio Gallery, La Mesilla, NM





2005 “Boswell” – portrait drawing, private collection, Tyler TX

2004 "Heroes of Bataan" - sculpture, Taos Plaza, Taos, NM

2002 "Bataan Death March Memorial Monument" - sculpture, concept and site design, Las Cruces, NM

2001 "Doves In Flight"- sculpture, First Presbyterian Church, Las Cruces, NM

2000 "Cave Creek Properties"- building designs for commercial properties in Cave Creek, Arizona

2000 Mercado Ventures, Las Cruces, NM

1999 “So Long River” – sculpture, private collect St. Louis MO

1998 "Justice or Mercy" sculpture, private collection, Mesilla, NM

1998 "Athena Place Community", building design, town homes subdivision, Las Cruces, NM

1997 Mercado de La Mesilla" building design, Mesilla, NM

1997 "La Hacienda de Mesilla" building design, Las Cruces, NM

1996 "Lisa & Laura" life-size portrait figures in bronze, private collector, Mesilla, New Mexico

1995 "Read With Me" Hawaii State Library, Honolulu, Hawaii

1991 "Passages" figure sculpting for Mamoru Sato, commission for State of Hawaii

Art Reach American Libraries (US)

Anchorage Beacon Journal (AK)

The Freedom Post, Taipei, Taiwan

Victoria Advocate (TX)

The Examiner (AUS)

Honolulu Advertiser (HI)

Honolulu Star Bulletin (HI)

Amarillo Globe News (TX)

Idaho State Journal (ID)

Pacific Daily News (GUAM)

Galleries, Exhibitions and Other Work


Founded by owners Carolyn and Henry Bunch, The Adobe Patio Gallery has been an important part

of the southern New Mexico art scene since 1985. Now located in a gracious, courtyard-centered complex located

in the Mercado de Mesilla arts district, the gallery presents an outstanding list of artists working in a range of media, from painting and tile mosaics, to sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and fiber art.


In addition to to showcasing fine art, the gallery

hosts three yearly exhibitions featuring prominent

guest artists.






Main Street Gallery - 311 N Downtown Mall

Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001 (575) 647-0508

photograph of Adobe Patio Gallery interior


Kelley is best known in the region as the concept artist, site designer and sculptor of the “Bataan Death March Memorial" at Veterans Park in Las Cruces, NM.



For information on this documentary about

the creation of the Memorial, visit