Kelsey Elder is an educator, typographer and artist whose practice investigates letterforms as sites of significance and whose research argues for these sites as culturally important epicenters for queerness, subversion and dissent. Hailing from the true north (Detroit by way of Minneapolis), he grew up grazing cold knuckles while wrenching away in the garage on cars and motorcycles. He is an avid petrol head and owner of a small lifestyle company and custom car garage called Lowered Values.
Prior to joining the faculty at RISD, Elder taught at Purchase College of the State University of New York, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Cranbrook Summer Art Institute. His research has been presented and published through various venues including at TypeCon 2019, the Geffen Contemporary, The New School, Mercedes-Benz, Boston University and the University of Texas. Elder's studio work has most recently been commissioned by—and shown at—PLUG Projects, Reverb Gallery, Cranbrook Art Museum and the Forum Gallery. He earned his BFA in graphic design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and his MFA in 2D design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and he is a graduate of the Typeface Design Intensive at the University of Reading.