Ivan Marion Kelez Biography

Ivan Marion Kelez




Printmaker, sculptor, draftsman, and painter Ivan Marion Kelez, who went by Marion Kelez and is sometimes listed as "Mario" Kelez, was born in Seattle, Washington, on September 13, 1907. Little is found on his art education or career, though it is known that he exhibited with the Northwest Print Makers in 1929 and '30, and worked for the WPA as a muralist in the 1930s. Among his works from this time was an Alaskan white cedar bas-relief mural of the history of European settlers' arrival to Seattle and the history of the 1855 treaty that was never honored by the U.S. for the Duwamish tribe - a rare recognition at the time - created for Alki Elementary in Seattle in 1935 (now located at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence).

Kelez graduated from Queen Anne High School in Seattle in 1925 and received his degree at the University of Washington before taking courses at the Cornish Art School in Seattle. 
During World War II he served as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve. He was employed as a clerk by the King County, Washington Board of Commissions when he married Margaret Anderson in 1937, and in his later years he would work as an engineer. 

Ivan Marion Kelez died on September 13, 1965, in King County, Washington.