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Patricia "Trish" Kelly Thompson

April 12, 1947 ~ September 27, 2021 (age 74)


Patricia Kelly Thompson 1947-2021

Artist and educator Patricia Kelly Thompson, age 74, of New Smyrna Beach, died peacefully Monday September 27, 2021 at Halifax Health Hospice, Edgewater. More than just an artist, she was an irreplaceable, influential anchor in the community. She made people believe in who they are and what they are capable of. 

Trish was born to Raymond Earl and Christine Elizabeth Lentz Kelly, and was raised in Panama City in the Florida panhandle. Living near the gulf, on a bay, there was continuous sky and water. Her father was a mechanical engineer for the local Navy base, inventing and patenting many intricate designs.

Her education consisted of a Bachelor Degree in studio art in 1968 and a Master of Arts in art education and constructive design in 1971 both from Florida State University. She continued her scholarly work in Art Education, while teaching at Maclay School just outside Tallahassee. She completed her graduate coursework in the doctoral program before leaving the university.                          

She started out working with clay in college in the 70s,  then moved to watercolor, acrylic and drawing. She moved to large, nonobjective watercolor paintings in the 80s. Her work in acrylic began to develop with metallic pigments and found objects, with a strong interest in texture and brilliant color. In 1987, she married the love of her life, Jim Murphy, and they moved from Tallahassee with her two children, Daniel and Kelly, to New Smyrna Beach.

Combining the interests of education and art, she accepted the position of Curator of Education at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach. Later she became Curator of Education at the Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona State College. In 1995 she was honored to be designated Florida Museum Educator of the Year by the Florida Art Education Association. She attained the rank of Professor in the Department of Cultural Arts at Daytona State College, retiring in 2013, having taught painting, design and art appreciation courses.

Trish was a founding artist at Arts on Douglas of the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, where she was selected to participate in four residencies at the ACA.  Her richly textured mixed media paintings were featured in one-person exhibitions in such venues as the Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, The Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, The Pensacola Museum of Art, and The DeLand Museum of Art. A recently opened gallery, Jane’s Art Center, provided Trish with a new venue in ceramics at Jane’s Clay Studio. Her early interest in this medium had come full circle to some of her most imaginative art works. Most recently, her latest painting achievement was having her work selected for display at the Daytona Beach International Airport.

She was preceded in death by her father Raymond Kelly, mother Christine and sister, Susan Kelly Smith. She is survived by her husband of 34 years, James J. Murphy, a daughter, Kelly Thompson Moralle (Vince) and a son, Daniel Thompson (Kristl), grandchildren Aidan and Avery Moralle, to whom she was lovingly referred to as “Nana,” a sister, Kay Kelly Wallace (Dennis), brother- in- law, W.E. Smith and a nephew Jason Nabors, (Rhonda).

Celebration of Life for Trish will be hosted at Arts on Douglas, on Saturday October 23, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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Gathering of Family and Friends
October 23, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Arts on Douglas
123 Douglas Street
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

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