Artist Lynnette Shelley

Contemporary Animal Art and Modern Myth Paintings

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Lynnette Shelley is an award-winning Pennsylvania artist specializing in contemporary mixed media animal paintings. 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 artistic interests is exploring animals, icons and archetypes. Whether painted on cave walls, portrayed as omens or totems or even worshiped as personifications of the gods, animals were a favorite motif for our ancestors, and they still continue to infatuate people today. Animalistic imagery and themes can be seen in pop culture in everything from folklore and mythology to cartoons, logos and mascots. 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's animal and mythological-themed artworks have been displayed nationally as well as regionally at museums, art galleries and other venues. Most recently, in 2018 Lynnette’s artwork “Sacred Hare” was one of 18 artworks selected for the Lamp Post Banner Project by the West Chester Borough Public Arts Commission. As a part of this project, original art by regional artists will be printed on banners that will hang in downtown West Chester for a year (starting June 2018) as a part of a public arts initiative. Lynnette's banner is located on High Street just outside of Visual Expansion Gallery. In 2016, she was one of 28 artists selected to participate in the Donkeys Around Town public arts initiative in Philadelphia. She painted two of the 57 fiberglass donkeys that were displayed in Center City Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 (see press release). She also had four of her artworks licensed and installed as large prints in Nemours duPont Pediatrics new facility in Deptford, NJ. Her artwork is officially licensed worldwide as canvas prints through iCanvas. Please download her resume to view her full exhibition history.

Shelley is represented by Ivystone Studio in Downingtown, PA, Borrelli's Chestnut Hill Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, Touchstone Gallery in Yardley, PA, and Your Claim to Frame in Birdsboro, PA. You can also see her work on an ongoing basis at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center in Blue Bell, PA.

In addition to her fine art pursuits, Shelley is also the co-founder of The Red Masque, an original dark art rock / progressive rock band she has been writing and performing in since 2001. The Red Masque recently released a new studio album. Shelley is also the vocalist in Green Cathedral, a contemporary art rock band. They released their debut album in September 2017.

Originally from Delaware, Shelley lives in Ambler and maintains a studio in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Thoughts on Lynnette Shelley's Artwork:

"I think it is also an accumulation of seeing and learning about art of all types, and then [in] seeing that tradition we have learned about reflected in something that is simultaneously fresh, new, and vibrant. You've got mandalas and Russian icons intermingled with classical symbolism, but the whole thing is re-cast in images that are totally modern — bordering on the futuristic and obviously fantastic — and not constrained by any of the history that informed them. It's like its own mythology, or some 'alternative universe' mythology. Provocative, but somehow strangely comforting."
— Bill Noland, Massachusetts, a collector of Lynnette's artwork

"Lynnette creates these wild, luscious color backgrounds and then executes on them animal figures with a discipline that reminds me of medieval (Romanesque and Gothic) art and manuscript illuminations. For me an addictive combination."
Leander Fontaine, Pennsylvania, professional artist