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Lynnette Shelley is an award-winning Pennsylvania artist specializing in contemporary mixed media animal paintings and illustrations. Having a great love of wildlife, folktales, tribal art and world mythology, Shelley fuses these influences into her strikingly unique artworks. Her paintings strike a primal chord in many viewers, with almost Jungian associations to the colors and shapes. Her complex compositions and zoomorphic and totemic animal art and folklore-inspired creations are both primitive and sophisticated, and have been likened to images from an undiscovered ancient civilization or culture.
"One of my primary interests has always been exploring legends and stories from around the world. Why are certain motifs ubiquitous across cultures and continents? These archetypal stories are told repeatedly in different guises throughout myth and folklore, and animals are often used to convey these mysteries. Whether painted on cave walls, portrayed as omens or totems or even worshiped as personifications of the gods, animals were a favorite theme for our ancestors. My artwork takes a closer look at this archetypal animal kingdom. Reinterpreted through art, abstraction, decorative element and contemporary vision, these creatures speak to our collective unconscious."
"In addition, I like to paint artworks incorporating endangered or extinct animals, and also unusual animals, to bring awareness to what we as humans are doing to our planet, as well as to explore all the varieties of life around us."
Shelley is represented by JAM Gallery in Malvern, PA, for which she is also the Marketing Director and co-curator. She is also represented by Blank Canvas Gallery in New Hope, PA, and Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, PA. Please see this website's exhibitions page for her current event schedule.
Shelley's animal and mythological-themed artworks have been displayed nationally as well as regionally, including the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST); Chester County Studio Tours, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences; Pennsylvania's John James Audubon Center, the Art Association of Harrisburg; Abington Art Center in Jenkintown, PA; the Nichols Berg Gallery in Philadelphia; Three Ravens Gallery in Ardmore, PA; Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA; Immaculata University's annual juried art show, PA; Malvern Retreat House's annual juried show in Malvern, PA; Annex 24 Gallery in Lancaster, PA; Blank Canvas Gallery in New Hope, PA; Art6 Gallery in Richmond, VA; Artworks Gallery in Trenton, NJ; The Straube Center in Pennington, NJ; the Wilmington Grand Opera House in Delaware; the Maryland Federation of the Arts in Annapolis; the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael, CA; and the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, CA. Some of her creature drawings were featured in the animated short "The Spider Is the Web" shown at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, while more of her artwork was featured as part of an on-screen art show at the 2008 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. She also exhibited at the juried art show at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA, one of the largest fantasy / sci fi-themed conventions in the world.
In addition to her fine art pursuits, Shelley is also the co-founder of The Red Masque, an original avant rock band which has played numerous shows and festivals since 2001, as well as releasing numerous recordings. The Red Masque is signed to Beta-lactam Ring Records in Portland, OR. Shelley is also the vocalist in Green Cathedral, a newly formed art rock / gothic band.
Originally from Delaware, Shelley currently lives and works out of Ambler, PA, near Philadelphia.
"Crescent Crowned and White of Feather" by Lynnette Shelley,
Mixed Media on Aquabord, 16 x 20 inches, 2013