The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is pleased to present the exhibition Shelley Stephens – It’s About Time at SPARC Gallery, located at the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce on Mission Street. MICRONAUT, an independent curatorial design firm in South Pasadena, has organized the exhibition.
South Pasadena artist Shelley Stephens was born and raised near downtown Los Angeles, where at a very young age she was exposed to people from many different racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. While in high school, her family moved to South Pasadena and she later graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Studio Art. While her professional career has been spent in cultural retail, she has remained a working artist ever since.
This small exhibition focuses on Stephens’ most recent paintings and collages. “My work is not figurative, not slick, not representative, not political, not trendy, or overly fine-tuned,” the artist explains. “I am inspired by ethnic societies, by Asian, African, and Native American cultures. What I find in these cultures is often art making based on myth, religion, belief, and ceremony. The ethnic art that I love is unself-consciously involved in a spiritual search and therefore, imparts a humanness and an intimacy, which translates into self-acceptance and honesty; values that I hold most dear.”
Stephens’ vibrantly colored work betrays a passion for life, for nature, and a respect for the spiritual search that gives meaning to her life and practice. She named the show It’s About Time because the struggle to find the time for reflection and creative pursuits has been a constant factor in her life.
In addition to being an artist, Stephens has also been providing retail consultation services to national and international cultural institutions (zoos, libraries, aquariums, art museums, and performing arts organizations) for the past 25 years. She enjoys the quasi-academic environment of museums and other cultural institutions because they offer the opportunity for lifelong learning. Her work for museums exposes her to visual stimulation that provides direct inspiration for her painting.
The SPARC Gallery is located at 1121 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030. SPARC Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5 pm or by appointment. Please call the Chamber office before arriving. 626-441-2339.