Gelles' fixation with cataloguing dwellings stems from an interest in mapping how architecture and social organization intersect, especially as it pertains to families. Her taxonomic approach to understanding the politics of space raises questions about the manner in which our quarters define, connect, and divide us.

Gelles received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is in the permanent collections at LACMA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.