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Shelley's adventures in art began at an early age when she decided at the age of 14 to be an art teacher. Originally from Ohio, she earned a BFA in drawing and painting from Bowling Green State University and then an MA in visual arts education from The University of Northern Colorado while teaching in the public schools. Her arts and leadership training along with experiences as a 25 year veteran art educator, arts coordinator, and curriculum specialist allowed her to learn from some extraordinary artists and teachers such as Phillip Pearlstein, Joseph Magnani, Diana Attie, Jerry Uelsmann, Thomas Hilty, Phillip Wigg, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Faith Ringgold. 

Shelley lives and works in Denver, Colorado .

From the start my work has been inspired by the architectural landscape most recently in Colorado and New Mexico, but I strive to infuse an atmosphere of spirituality in all the works that reflects a sense of place. The interplay of the hard edge of architecture balanced with the random forms of nature allow a connection to be drawn with the paint in a very intuitive manner. Additionally, inspiration is drawn from Abstract Expressionist artists such as Willem de Kooning along with a Fauvist use of color which are evident in the paintings. You can see the visual references in the spontaneous brush strokes of each artwork no matter what the media. Although I have work in oils, I currently use water media, and pastels primarily. 

The figurative works are more intimately expressionistic with images that move in and out of the negative space. Some of them invoke a sense of mystery and others use the same techniques as the architectural pieces to play against brush strokes and edges.

Plein Air Painting has always been an interest and allows me to spontaneously create works out in nature. The bulk of this work has been done in New Mexico and Colorado, but my travels abroad also provide inspirational subjects. Currently I work in pastels while working in plein air. 

Crested Butte Meadow



I spent the bulk of my career teaching secondary and post secondary art, offering staff development classes, managing an art department, and serving in leadership positions for the Cherry Creek School District, Colorado Art Education Association, National Art Education Association, ArtSource Colorado, and the Art Students League of Denver. As a result of these experiences I offer my skills to arts educational organizations who seek trainers for their personnel both in leadership and teaching strategies. I specialize in 4MAT curriculum planning, facilitation, and organizational development, and can set up graduate credit through Adams State University for studio and other art educational classes or workshops. I am able to customize my rates to fit the needs of my clients. Please contact me for more information.  

Shelley Howard Fine Arts

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