Digital and paper collage, graphic design, and drag art by Kelly Schmader.

Kelly Schmader studied studio art at Oberlin College in Ohio, and is currently a Master of Arts Management student at Columbia College Chicago. Inspired by photographer Laurie Simmons, fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, author Francesca Lia Block, pop icon Lady Gaga, and select drag queens, she uses digital collage and drag photography to explore the American pop cultural landscape. She is especially interested in the way the internet and the manipulation of digital photography can be used as a new art medium; one that expresses the collective subconscious internet users share through repeated imagery, memes, and Google image search. Her current visual vocabulary includes pink, the desert, lizards, bones, skeletons, eyeballs, the moon, fruit, and the geometric. She strives for her pieces to evoke the divinely surreal.

Regarding her work as drag artist Kelly Boner, Kelly first became interested in Chicago drag in 2013. After rabidly watching season after season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she began regularly attending local drag shows in Chicago, IL. Soon many of these queens became her best friends and collaborators. Since working in Chicago drag, Kelly was producer of the short film Lipstick City, linked on the front page, as well as assistant and creative consultant on countless projects and photoshoots. She has work featured in Issue #3 of Velour: the Drag Magazine, released in June 2017.

She currently lives with renown Chicago queen and her drag mother, Valentine Addams. You can see her looks and work as a queen on her instagram, kellyboner, linked to the right.

Please direct all questions to kelly.schmader@gmail.com

Sketch below by Bijou Bentley.




instagram: kellyboner

twitter: formercontender

tumblr: former-contender