ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Through my art, I hope to find ways in which to enrich the lives of others or addresses social issues. I consider myself to be a true humanist. I have strong beliefs regarding human rights, religion and politics and I'm not afraid to rattle a few cages to get my point across. Too many people have fought too long or continue to fight for their rights and I believe that everyone should be afforded the same freedoms. I may not always possess the words to express myself thoroughly, but I can make up for it with bold images that cannot be ignored.

 

I believe in experience over observation. As such, my art is often interactive, engaging the viewer in some way. This may be physically, through manipulation of the piece or by moving around it. It may also be emotionally, by forcing the viewer to reflect on what the message means to them. It can also be more subtle, leaving the viewer with a lingering impression that will continue to surface over time.

 

Overall, I wish to normalize the human experience and remove communication barriers. We all feel pain, experience insecurities and question our existence. So why aren’t we talking about these things? We need to start a conversation if we hope to move forward. I hope that my art will open up a dialogue about issues such as gender identity, religion, race, ability and physical appearance.

 

In the past, I’ve done commissions to support myself, but I wish to take a giant leap away from this with my future work. I don’t want to see my work hanging over someone’s couch. It should be in public, where it can have the most impact. The last thing I want my work to be is marketable.

ABOUT shelly

Shelly was born in Garland, TX to parents who had both dropped out of high school in the 10th grade. Growing up with meager means and displaying an early interest in art, Shelly took to filling the margins of her school assignments with drawings and doodles. Over the years, she turned to books and TV shows - Bob Ross was a favorite - to improve her artistic skills.

She attended the University of Texas at Arlington straight out of high school and majored in illustration. Unfortunately, she had to drop out after one year due to limited finances. Over the next decade, Shelly worked various jobs while raising her two children. When time allowed, she explored the realms of fantasy and horror art. She took part in several art fairs and conventions, but had only minor financial success.

Sensing that this wasn't the correct path, she decided to go into film work instead. For more than ten years, Shelly made a name for herself as one of Dallas/Fort Worth's leading special effects makeup artists. She enjoyed the lab work, which included sculpting, designing, molding and painting, but soon grew weary of the hard life of an independent film worker. In 2016, Shelly decided to start breaking away from film and move back into fine art.

As a commissioned artist, Shelly found quick success with her photo-realistic portraits and fluid style. It was not long, however, before she realized she had a greater calling. She had things to say about the world around her, but needed some help to find her voice and to increase her skills. In 2019, Shelly returned to school, enrolling at the University of North Texas as a Studio Art major with a concentration in drawing and painting. 

Not long after, she fell in love with sculpture and metal work. With graduation planned for Spring of 2022, Shelly has been taking advantage of every opportunity the school has to offer. She can often be found in the sculpture department's woodshop or in the metalsmithing area working on her latest masterpiece. She greets every challenge readily and looks forward to showing the world what she's learned. 

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© 2020 Shelly Denning