Danielle Klebes

Danielle Klebes has exhibited at notable galleries and museums in New York, Pennsylvania,
Colorado, Vermont, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida, Quebec, Canada, and Istria, Croatia. She is spending much of 2019 and 2020 participating in domestic and international artist residencies. Danielle received her MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA, in 2017.

Artist Statement

My current body of work explores and disrupts ideas of social expectations and gender norms by presenting queer bodies in utopic settings. ‘Utopia’ was coined in 1516 by Sir Thomas More from the Greek ‘outopos,’ which literally translates to ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere.’ A ‘perfect place’ is subjective and has a multitude of facades, but definitions are decided by those who have the power to write history. The figures in my work are often captured in moments of uncertainty and isolation, close in proximity but emotionally distant. They are positioned in liminal, natural environments with no clear entrance or exit pathway. There is a sense of the in-between without a clear narrative regarding what comes next. I employ a cool, colorful, and unnatural palette to highlight disconnection and lack of intimacy.

Meet Danielle Klebes – Featured Artist

Joanna Hoge, Board Member interviews Danielle Klebes

May 27, 2020

Hello! This is @danielleklebesart and I am the current artist in residence with Good Hart. I’ll be posting what I’m up to on Good Hart’s social media accounts for the next couple of weeks.

I will be continuing to work on my Aimless Pilgrimage Project, which is a series of life-sized freestanding wooden cutouts of my friends which I install in various locations. I create crowds of introspective figures, close in proximity but emotionally distant.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be building more figures and installing crowds in various locations around Castleton University in Vermont, which is where I am spending my stay-in-place residency.

I love questions and comments so please feel welcome to message me!


May 29, 2020

Steve-O, oil and spray paint on cut panel, 6.5 ft x 2 ft


May 30, 2020

Spending this hot sunny day outside, painting the backs of the figures!

The scenes range from landscapes to patterns to abstract images. They are all vibrant and include bright unnatural colors to highlight disconnection and lack of intimacy.

I’m painting the backs so that when the figures are installed in a space, they become 3-D objects vs. 2-D portraits. I can position the figures facing different directions and they will serve as backdrops for one another.


June 1, 2020

Safety first 😷😷😷

Would have done a group shot, but I didn’t have enough masks.


June 3, 2020

🏳️‍🌈 💎🏳️‍🌈 , oil and spray paint on cut panel, 6.25ft x2ft


June 5, 2020

Wooden people on campus. @ Castleton University


June 7, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about building environments for the wooden people in a gallery setting. Here are some photos of one of the wooden people in front of three of my “Utopia” paintings: Dodge, Suikerspin, and Dig left panel.

In contrast to the utopian scenes I’ve been painting this past year, I’m now working on some dystopian ones. I’m interested to see how the quiet, introspective, impassive figures relate to more aggressive dangerous backdrops.


June 8, 2020

Stepping away from the studio today to connect with the local community & install some work at Ape Gallery in Northampton, MA.


June 9, 2020

Just married, oil and spray paint on canvas, 54” x 42”


June 10, 2020

Today is the last day of my stay in place residency. These two weeks of being able to fully focus on my work have been fantastic. This residency has encouraged me to think about all of the ways to connect with community virtually and from a safe distance, and I am excited to continue working with these ideas going forward. I have really appreciated this opportunity! Thank you so much for everything Sue and Bill!


This is Danielle’s last day of her stay-in-place residency and we have great news on how you can continue to follow her and see her at work. Crooked Tree Arts Center – Petoskey has scheduled an “IN THE STUDIO WITH…” Danielle Klebes for July 15th. Here is a link to more information on Crooked Tree Art Center’s interactive series with artists. https://www.crookedtree.org/article/ctac-online/studio

Also, thank you to Danielle Klebes for collaborating with us these past two weeks and sharing your beautiful, vibrant, and thought-provoking work.