William Kelly was born in Buffalo, New York, Kelly studied at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, USA) and at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, Australia.
Kelly was a Fulbright Scholar and later became Dean at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
Today Kelly is a painter and his art is characterised by a humanist approach and socially committed creative practice.
Kelly has represented Australia in the International United Nations Human Rights Print Portfolio (in collaboration with Aboriginal artist, Benjamin McKeown) and, recently, he has been selected to represent Australia in the international print folio “Dialogue Among Nations” organised by Art for Humanity, Durban, South Africa.
Kelly maintained a studio in rural Victoria.