Mr. Kris Neely is Director of the Success Initiative at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.. Education: He holds the B.A. degree from Wofford College (2002) with a major in religion, graduating summa cum laude, first in his class, Phi Beta Kappa, Presidential International Scholar, and recipient of the Walter E. Hudgins Award for Intellectual Courage, Creativity, and Vision. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College.
Experience: Mr. Neely has taught 9th and 11th grade English at the Spartanburg Day School. At Wofford College, he has served as the Director of Residence Life and Director of Project Development in the Office of Student Affairs, where he helped to create numerous program innovations including the online housing lottery, living-learning communities, IMPACT Wofford, and the First Year Interface website.
Neely was ask to serve as Artist-in-Transit for the City of Spartanburg in 2007. Sponsored by Partners for Active Living, SPARTA Bus, and the City of Spartanburg, this six month project reminds the members of the community to consider the ways they move in the city.
Personal: A creative writer and a visual artist, Kris served as writer-in-residence and editor for Hidden Voices, a book project sponsored by The Hub City Writers Project, the Spartanburg Arts Partnership, and Piedmont Care, Inc.
His oversize photographs of a Spartanburg water tower are on permanent display at the Spartanburg County Administration Building. In 2006, he was invited to hang a two-month solo exhibition of paintings and photographs in the Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery at Wofford College. The exhibition was then moved for two months to the Spartanburg High School Gallery.
In his studio, Neely experiments with new media and found objects to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. In his body of work, distorted renderings of human forms are often presented. He brings an attentive eye to the human condition to both his painting and photography. These works often reflect his background in the study of religion and he considers his time in the studio to be a form of manual, contemplative prayer.
He and his wife, Patrice, live in Spartanburg. Patrice teaches children with severe and profound special needs at The McCarthy Teszler School in the Elementary Division.