Mary Jane Kelman, who was known as “Kelly,” died on Dec. 13, 2019 at Cape Cod Hospital, where she was being treated for complications from heart disease. Born on Nov. 27, 1944, in Bridgeport, Conn., Kelly lived in Provincetown since the 1970s and was a familiar member of the MacMillan Pier art community.
In her early years on the Cape, Kelly was valued as a case manager for the AIDS Support Group during the pandemic. Originally educated in the sciences, Kelly shifted her focus to art and never looked back. A dedicated observer of the natural world and her surroundings, Kelly captured the landscapes of her world: Provincetown vignettes, fauna and flora, and sea life. Her work was fresh, from the heart, and reflected her love of life on the Cape. It’s easy to imagine them in nooks and crannies all over the world.
Kelly was loved for her deep commitment and connections to her friends, who she considered her family of choice. She had a knack for drawing people out through inquiry and storytelling. She was a consummate storyteller herself who brought much joy and laughter to everyone with whom she had contact.
Kelly is survived by her wife of 25 years, Luanne Lipkin-Kelman; her nephew, Chris Kelman and his wife, Marcy, and children, Jackson and Josie. She was predeceased by her parents, Peg and Abe Kelman, and a brother, Bruce Kelman.
There will be a celebration of life to honor Kelly on Sunday, Dec. 22 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House at 236 Commercial St. in Provincetown. In lieu of flowers, donations may go to the Center for Coastal Studies, to the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life/Right Whales at the New England Aquarium, or to the Provincetown Rescue Squad.