St. Petersburg artist selected to promote U.S. cultural diplomacy in San Salvador

Yael Kelly can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be an artist.

“When I was 5, I announced to my mother that I was going to be a painter, an artist,” Kelly recalled. 

She still recollects the sound of her mother laughing.

“I remember exactly what she said to me,” Kelly explained. “She told me to learn to type and sew. I was not deterred.”

Today, Kelly is an artist in St. Petersburg. She was recently selected to show off her art at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador as part of the Art in Embassies program, an initiative that uses art as a way to communicate between cultures.

“Art has real power,” Kelly explained. “It can move us in a way that we really can’t explain in words. You just feel it.”

“I hope this work moves people and makes them feel a connection with America,” Kelly added. “I never wanted anything else. I spent my whole life working in the arts.”

Kelly is one of four artists from the Tampa Bay area participating in the program.