Courtney Kessel is a mother, artist, academic, and arts administrator living and working in Athens, Ohio. Kessel exhibits her work nationally and internationally including the China Art Museum, Shanghai, New Maternalisms, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago Chile and New Maternalisms: Redux at the University of Alberta, Canada, FAMILY MATTERS: Living and Representing Today’s Family, Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, the Tampa Museum of Art, and Exit Art, New York, New York. She has lectured on her work and research in both universities and museums from the Norton Museum of Art to Brigham Young University Art Museum.

Through sculpture, photography, performance, video, and sound, Courtney Kessel’s work strives to make visible the quiet, understated, and often unseen love and labor of motherhood. In the annual performance piece, In Balance With (2010-present), Kessel presents a version of the maternal which investigates collaboration with her (now 18-year-old) daughter, as a visible, changeable aspect of mothering. Other projects of which reflect over a decade of research into the subjective maternal include: Mother Lode, Symphony of the Domestic, Cut From the Same, Fabric of Life and the video Sharing Space.

Kessel is the Assistant Director for Experiential Learning for Ohio University and teaches in the School of Art + Design, Athens, Ohio.  

Education: PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Arts, Scholar/Artist track (anticipated 2025), MFA in Sculpture & Expanded Practices and a certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies (2012) from Ohio University, BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art (1998). She studied abroad at Temple University Rome, Italy from 1995-1996.