Interior Designer & Artist

Kelly Gale Amen


“A good design plan leaves room for the constant joy of experimentation.
I can walk into a house and tell whether the people are really using the house and enjoying each room. I know if a house has personality—I can tell if it is loved—if its owners are working it and getting full enjoyment from the space in each room.”


Artist's Statement


Meshing classical style and functionality with contemporary inflection, Kelly’s visionary work runs the gamut from joyful amusement to solace and serenity—in every medium.

As a dedicated designer and artist, I have found a wellspring of inspiration in my experiences and interactions over the years.I began as a visionary. Using my color and compositional skills to accommodate and infiltrate clients’ spaces, I have drawn art from the routines of Interior Design.

I began creating Art Furniture in the 1990’s to give voice to my personal vision. At the time artists were fomenting a movement to include functional art in the arena of fine art. Architects and designers were creating functional work to augment their portfolios and allow their work to be legitimized within that realm.

My approach concerns the meshing of a classical style and functionality with a contemporary inflection. All my metal work is produced under my close supervision at a foundry in Alabama. It is created and manipulated to fulfill my vision as an artist.

Biography


Weatherford, Oklahoma native Kelly Gale Amen was born in 1949. He has lived and worked in Houston, Texas since 1972.

Founding Member of NSID, ASID, and ASOFA

Kelly started KGA Design in 1974, and has been an influential participant in the Houston arts & design community ever since. His work has been featured in all available media, from a feature on HGTV’s Extreme Homes, to frequent spotlights on his design projects in local and national print media, to publication in books and magazines.

In the 1990’s Kelly began creating his own Art Furniture to give voice to his personal vision. At the time artists were fomenting a movement to include functional art within the arena of fine art. Architects and Designers were creating functional work to augment their portfolios and allow their artistic work to be legitimized within that realm. He is also a founding member of the American Society of Furniture Artists.

His KGA Triple Benches are on display as a permanent installation in Houston’s Shady Groves Victims Memorial at Tinsley Park. Kelly is proud to have had one of his Memorial Benches installed in Houston’s Bob Lanier Public Works Building. He has his Art Furniture in the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Center in Weatherford, Oklahoma, the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma, and many other locations.

Kelly has thrown his support behind many charitable ventures throughout his career, adding his special slant on how to engage and reward those involved in fund raising as well as those receiving the benefit of those funds. Some of those organizations are: The Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Aids Foundation Houston, and most recently, the Zina Garrison Foundation.

Starting in 2007, Kelly branched out with the signed & numbered edition collections, partnering with Susan G. Koman for the Cure, The Stafford Air & Space Museum, and the Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing organizations.

With his activities ranging through tireless support of the arts to active participation as a creator of Art Furniture and sculpture, Kelly enjoys an international reputation for cutting edge concept and design.

 

SELECTED INSTALLATIONS, PUBLIC ART, EXHIBITIONS

2016    

“22nd Infantry Regimental Commemorative Bench” Permanent installation, dedicated June 23, 2015, at the National Army Infantry Museum located at Ft. Benning, Ga 

“Helping a Hero” A reflection bench for honoring “Helping a Hero” with the inscription “EMPOWERING WOUNDED HEROES ONE HOME AT A TIME”. “HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES, IF WE DON’T PROTECT THOSE WHO PROTECT US?” Presented in gratitude to Pawnee Sporting Clays, LLC, Layetteville, TX, June 1, 2015

 “The Mystique of a Bellaire Cottage”  Bellaire bungalow transformed into the epitome of subtlety and style and published in Houston House and Home. May 2015

“Helping a Hero” Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, presentation of KGA’s reflection bench for “Helping a Hero”. Hyatt Regency Houston, Mistress of Ceremonies- Deborah Duncan. Honoring: Charles W. Jenness and Lee Greenwood. April 27, 2015

2015   

“22nd Infantry Regimental Commemorative Bench” Permanent installation, dedicated June 23, 2015, at the National Army Infantry Museum located at Ft. Benning, GA

“Helping a Hero” A reflection bench for honoring “Helping a Hero” with the inscription “EMPOWERING WOUNDED HEROES ONE HOME AT A TIME”. “HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES, IF WE DON’T PROTECT THOSE WHO PROTECT US?” Presented in gratitude to Pawnee Sporting Clays, LLC, Fayetteville, TX, June 1, 2015

“The Mystique of a Bellaire Cottage”  Bellaire bungalow transformed into the epitome of subtlety and style and published in Houston House and Home. May 2015

“Helping a Hero” Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, presentation of KGA’s reflection bench for “Helping a Hero”. Hyatt Regency Houston, Mistress of Ceremonies- Deborah Duncan. Honoring: Charles W. Jenness and Lee Greenwood. April 27, 2015

2014   

“KGA/ZGA Paint Day Canvases” Reception in honor of Zina Garrison Academy, with special guest Zina Garrison.  Hosted by Stetzel & Associates and Kelly Gale Amen.  Stetzel & Associates Showroom at the Decorative Center of Houston.  5120 Woodway, Suite 2010, Houston, TX  77056.

 “Cancer Below The Belt” Bench  11/9/2014  On Tour

“Cancer Below the Belt Launch Party & Flash Mob” was presented by KGA in support of cancer awareness  on October 15, 2014 at Char Bar 305 Travis Street

The “OREL Foundation” Commemorative bench is dedicated to The Colburn School by James Conlon and the Orel Foundation in honor of Marilyn Ziering in recognition of her support. 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012  Summer of 2014

2013  

“KGA Is Back” KGA Boutique opening, in partnership with Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH), and in collaboration with Greater Gallery.  Dakota Lofts, 711 Williams St, Houston, TX  77002. 

“Sidewalk Sunday” KGA & Zina Garrison Academy.  Hosted by The Starving Artist Gallery, 2037 West Alabama, Houston, TX  77098.  28 & 31 July 2013.

“ASID Show Home Tour – Loggia Outdoor Space” Riverstone presents Vista Fontana, 22 Ivy Bend, Sugar Land, TX  77479.  Experience the Old World splendor of a luxurious Tuscan-style villa by Teramor Homes.  11-27 May 2013.

2012   

“Urban Gallery Showing – Zina Garrison Academy & KGA – Paint Day” Urban Gallery, 716 West Alabama, Houston, TX, 77006.  15 Oct 2012.

2011

“Functional Art – Functional Parts – Public Parks” Gallery TWO1FOUR, 214 Travis Ave, Houston, TX  77002. 29 Sept 2011.

The Wildflower Bench”  Permanent installation, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX.  In honor of Mrs. Laura W. Bush, former First Lady of Texas and the United States for her leadership, generosity, friendship and advocacy toward increasing the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

Presented at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s 2011 Wildflower Gala and Silent Art Auction (13 May 2011)

“The Social Book 2011 and the Houston Area Lexus Dealers –Launch Party”

Fifth Avenue Loft/Kelly Gale Amen Commemorative Art Furniture Collections” Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby, Houston, TX

2010

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench”

Permanent installation, St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital, 17200 St. Luke’s Way, The Woodlands, TX.  Honoring the 20th anniversary of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Houston affiliate chapter.

“Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, United States Embassy – Moscow.  Bolshov Devyatinsky Per 8, Moscow, Russia.

“Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, Memorial Space Museum.  1111 Mira Prospect, Moscow, Russia.

“The Mermaid Project Bench”  Permanent installation, Brazosport Cancer Center, 100 Medical Dr, Lake Jackson TX.

Meet the Artist – Kelly Gale AmenHosted by the Brazosport Health Foundation and the Bluebonnet Social Club Committee, 400 College Dr, Clute, TX.

Two KGA Triple Bronze Benches with Texas Granite”   Permanent installation, Houston Airport System.  16930 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Houston, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Chair”  Permanent installation, The Rose – Galleria Office, 5420 West Loop South, Ste 3300, Bellaire, TX.

2009   

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench”
Permanent installation, Houston Parks and Recreation Headquarters, 2999 S Wayside Dr, Houston, TX.

“Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, Houston Parks and Recreation Headquarters, 2999 S Wayside Dr, Houston, TX.

KGA Triple Bronze Bench with Texas Granite”   Permanent installation, James Bute Park.  Historic Frost Town Site, Harris County, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Bronze Bench”  Permanent installation, Norman Brinker Board Room, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Headquarters, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench and two Planters”

Permanent installation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Headquarters, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench”

Permanent installation, Eleanor Tinsley Park, Houston, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench”

Permanent installation, The Rose Medical Plaza, 12700 North Featherwood, Ste 260, Houston, TX.

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Honoring the Promise – Pink Bench”

Permanent installation, Brazosport Cancer Center, 100 Medical Dr, Lake Jackson, TX.

“University of Texas at Austin Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, University of Texas – Austin Intercollegiate Athletes Academic Center, Austin, TX.

“University of Texas at Austin Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, University of Texas – Austin Intercollegiate Athletes Academic Center, Austin, TX.

“The University of Texas at Austin Commemorative Bench”  Permanent installation, St. Luke’s Hospital, Texas Heart Institute, 6770 Bertner Ave, Houston, TX.

 2008

Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford Commemorative Bench”   Public Art Installation,

Official Visitors Center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX.

“Transformed Permanence”   The Historic Magnolia Brewery Building’s “Petal Gallery”, Houston, TX

“Dinner in the Deuce”   Untitled [Art Space], Oklahoma City, OK

2007 

“No Shortage There”   Bering and James, Houston, TX

“1898 Weatherford, Oklahoma”   Permanent installation, Oklahoma State Art Collection Gallery / State Capitol Building, Oklahoma City, OK

“Triple Bench Collection/Public Bench Collection”   Permanent installation, Looscan Library, Houston, TX

“No Shortage Here – No Shortage There”   Islander Gallery, Corpus Christi, TX 

2006   

“Art is the Good Life”   M2 Gallery, Houston, TX

 “KGA Public Benches”   Permanent installation, The Thomas Stafford Air & Space Center, Weatherford, OK

KGA Reverse Curve Memorial Bench Dedication”   Permanent installation, The Jewish Community Center of Houston, Houston, TX

“The Earth-Artists Responding to Violence”,  “No Shortage Here”   FotoFest 2006, Bering & James Gallery, Houston, TX

“KGA Public Bench”   Permanent installation, James Butte Park, Houston, TX

2005

“Art on the Avenue 2005 ‘tables’”   Avenue CDC, Winter Street Studios, Houston, TX

“Cinco”   Bering & James Gallery, Houston, TX

KGA Memorial Bench Dedication”   Permanent installation, Houston Municipal Art Commission 40th Anniversary Celebration, The Bob Lanier Public Works Building, Houston, TX

2004   

“Flow-Fluid-Flush”   FotoFest2004, KGA Compound, Houston, TX

Sculptures, GAIA   Curated by Esther Cardoso, Havanah, Cuba

2003    “Shady Grove Plaza, Bronze Triple Benches with Stone Seats”   Permanent Installation, Eleanor Tinsley Park,  Houston, TX

KGA Art Furniture   Living Out Loud Gallery, Aspen, CO

2002

“Fire, Performance Burning Furniture”   KGA Compound, Houston, TX

“A FotoFest Fire”   Installation / documentation, Houston International FotoFest 2002, KGA Compound, Houston, TX

2001

“Heavy Metal”   Macon & Co., Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

ASID Showcase   Texas Association for Interior Design Exhibit, Sugar Land, TX

  Kelly Gale Amen & Nall   Macon & Co., Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

Collaboration / Bayou City Cat Fish   Featured Co-Artist, Bayou City Arts Festival, Memorial Park, Houston, TX 

2000

Bench Installation   Holy Name Retreat Center, Houston, TX

“Tablescapes”   Houston Pi Beta Phi Foundation, Houston, TX

1999    “Westside”   Macon & Co., Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

Making a Mark   Featured Artist, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1998      Bench Installation   National Route 66 Museum, Weatherford, OK

“Metals, Petals and Paints”   MD Modern, Houston, TX

1997    Humidor Exhibition, Smoke and Mirrors   American Society of Furniture Artists, Houston, TX

1996     Furniture as Art: Bronze, Aluminum & Iron   The Sculpture Center at Esperante, West Palm Beach, FL

Furniture of the 90’s  1996 National Competition and Touring Exhibition

1994

“Seven Triple Bronze Bench”    Permanent Installation, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX

SELECTED COMMISSIONS

 2007    “KGA Donor Walls”   Mixed media commissioned by Friends of Neighborhood Libraries (FONL)

for the Looscan Neighborhood Library, 2510 Willowick, Houston, TX (installed 2007)

2004    “KGA Memorial Bench, Bronze”   Commissioned by Municipal Arts Council Houston for the

Bob Lanier Building Lobby, 611 Walker, Houston, TX (installed 2005)

2003    “Triple Bench with Fossil Stone Tops” (6)   for Shady Grove Plaza Victims Memorial, Eleanor

Park, City of Houston and Municipal Arts Council, Houston, TX

2001    “Public Bench, Painted”   James Bute Park, Art & Environmental Architecture, Houston, TX

SIGNED & NUMBERED EDITIONS

2013    “GLEH Bench” in conjunction with the Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH) organization, committed to constructing and maintaining high-quality affordable residential communities that provide a safe nurturing environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults (ongoing collection).

“Orel Foundation Bench” in conjunction with the Orel Foundation, supporting the rediscovery of suppressed music of the Twentieth Century (ongoing collection).

2012    “Zina Garrison Academy Bench” in conjunction with Zina Garrison Academy, supporting tennis education for underprivileged children (ongoing collection).

2011    “Tony’s Prostate Cancer Research Bench” in conjunction with Tony’s Prostate Cancer Research, headquartered in Houston, TX (ongoing collection).

“22nd Infantry Regimental Commemorative Bench” developed as part of the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society Fort Benning Memorial Project, as well as the National Infantry Museum (ongoing collection).

“I Ask Peace Bench”, The I Ask Peace Foundation, in conjunction with Families of Flight 93, Inc. (ongoing collection).

2010    “The Wildflower Bench” in conjunction with The Wildflower Truck donated to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Headquartered in Austin, TX (ongoing collection).

“The Mermaid Project Bench”, The Mermaid Project, Brazosport Health Foundation, Headquartered in Lake Jackson, TX (ongoing collection).

 “University of Texas at Austin Commemorative Bench”, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (ongoing collection).

“1 in 8 Commemorative Bench”, Pink Ribbons Project, Headquartered in Houston, TX (ongoing collection).

2008    “Honoring the Promise Collection”, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, National Headquartered in Dallas, TX (ongoing collection, nation-wide program)

Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing Bench Collection, Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing,

West Hollywood, CA

2007    Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford Astronaut Commemorative Bench, The Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Museum, Weatherford, OK (ongoing collection, nation-wide program)

Looscan Neighborhood Library, Friends of Neighborhood Library (FONL), Houston, TX

SELECTED AWARDS

2012    Industry Partner – Best Use of Textiles, American Society of Interior Designers, Houston, TX.

Letter of Appointment, China International Highest Properties Alliance, Beijing, China.

2008    Star of Design, Charles S. Cohen and Decorative Center Houston, “2008 Inaugural Star Design in the Field of Interior Design”

2004    2005 Service with Love Award, The Zina Harrison All Court Tennis Academy, “When I Grow Up…” 2005 Fundraising Gala

Humanitarian of the Year Award, AIDS Foundation, Houston, TX

1999    Designer of the Year, Traditional Homes Magazine

Artist of the Month, September, ASOFA

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

 “Artfully Furnished”, Southwest Art, June 1996

“Houston Style”, Houston Home & Garden, April/May 1997 

“Signature Style”, Traditional Home Magazine, September 1999

“Kelly Gale Amen, An Interview with a Creator”, Les Avenues, September/October, 2001

“The Art of Fine Furniture”, Houston Home & Garden, Furniture as Art, March 2001

“Color Solutions”, Better Homes & Gardens, Books, June 2002

“Aluminum Inspired Furniture”, Light Metal Age, June 2002

“Moods”, ME Magazine, October/November 2002

“Spectacular Homes”, Publication, November 2003

“From Forests to Sea”, Houston House and Home Magazine, March 2005

“Kelly Gale Amen’s Dark and Stormy Décor”, Houston Chronicle, Gloss Section, October 2005

“The Radar Art”, Houston Magazine, March 2006

“Creators of Custom”, Houston House and Home Magazine, July 2006

“Shout Amen”, Houston Magazine, September 2006

“Have a Seat”, Antique Shops and Designers Magazine, Fall 2007

“Beautiful Homes of Texas”, Signature Publishing Group,  Fall 2007.

“All In The Family”, Atlanta Peach, October/November 2007

“Designed for Cooking”, ASID Texas Gulf Coast Designers, Summer 2009.

“Houston’s Most-Photographed Men Offer Their Fashion Ideas”, Gloss (Houston Chronicle), July 2009.

“Perspectives on Design Southwest”, Panache Partners, Summer 2010.

“Kelly Gale Amen – Functional, Philosophical Interior Design”, UrbanCityLifeTV.com, November 2010.

“Famous Interior Designers: Kelly Gale Amen”, UrbanCityLifeTV.com, March 2011.

“KGA Helps You Make an Investment in Your Home”, Houston Remodeling Guide, January 2012.

“Modern Metamorphosis”, The Atlantan, November 2012.

“Kelly Gale Amen”, TOP Deco & Home Accents, July 2012.

“Kelly Gale Amen – Design to Achieve the Customer’s Lifestyle”, Furniture Today – China, 2012.

“ASID Show Home Tour – Meet the Designers – Kelly Gale Amen”, Houston House & Home, April 2013.

“Last Chance to See This Sugar Land Show Home”, HoustonChronicle.com, 17 May 2013.

“Magazine Cover Image”, Houston House & Home, June 2013.

“Outdoor Living Heats Up”, Houston House & Home, June 2013.

“Villa Fontana: Couple Turns to ASID Members to Create Their Dream Home”, Houston House & Home, June 2013.

“ASID Show House ‘Before’ Photos”, The Angle, Summer 2013.

“Designer Profile – Kelly Gale Amen”, Houston House & Home, August 2013.

“Vista Fontana”, Texas Home & Living, August 2013.

“KGA is Back: Save the Date! October 15th, TheAvenueOfHouston.com, 04 September 2013.

“An Interview with Kelly Gale Amen, RID, Allied ASID”, Texas Home & Living, October 2013.

“Modern Market”, Dwell, October 2013.

“Buzz: Learn How to Rock Fall’s Hottest Trends”, HoustonChronicle.com, 10 October 2013.

“2012 ASID TGCC Design Awards – Best Use of Textiles”, The Angle, Winter 2013.

“Society Diaries – Zina Garrison Marks 20 Years of Helping Houston Kids”, HoustonChronicle.com, November 2013.

“Tennis Legend Joins Zina Garrison as a New State of the Art Houston Tennis Facility Is Revealed”, CultureMap Houston, November 2013.

 “Tastemaker – Furniture Layers: An Interview with KGA”,  HouseAndHomeOnline.com, December 2013.

“Home for the Winter”, Yellow, Dec 2013 – Jan 2014.

“Houston Chronicle” OCTOBER 10, 2014  Houston designer’s slightly suggestive pillows to raise awareness for “cancer below the belt”

“Houston Chronicle”  December 10, 2014  (After a fire, family finds another place to call home in Montrose)

“News Fix”   Cancer Below The Belt, May 6,2015

“Houston Chronicle” May 2015 Sweeping views

“Houston House and Home” The Mystique of a Bellaire Cottage, May 2015

“22nd Infantry Regement Society” , Unveiling of 22nd Infantry memorial and KGA memorial bench at Ft. Benning, GA, June 2015

“The Moscow Times”, US and Russian space legends meet 40 years after handshake in space, July 2015

“Pants Down, Health Up” PaperCity. Cancer Below the Belt featured in PaperCity, February 2016.

“Getting Cheeky for a Cause” OutSmart Magazine. A cause with a sole…Cancer Below the Belt event at Mezlan in the Houston Galleria featured, September 2016.

“Becoming one with the ocean” Coast Monthly. KGA accentuates surf and sky in the in Meryl Cohen’s Galveston condo, October 2016.

“From Canvas to Carpet: AER Textiles’ Mission to Honor Artists” Go Design Go. KGA custom rug featured, April 2017.

“Stars of design are honored amid trendy talk at Decorative Center Houston Spring Market” CultureMap. KGA Design at Spring Market 2017, April 2017.

“Big Ideas for Small Spaces” Houston House and Home. August 2017.

“Stafford Transmission” Stafford Air and Space Museum. Weatherford, OK. August 2017.