Featured Artist Pam Shanley

Pam Shanley

The longer I look at an object, the more I see, whether it is expressed in a drawing, painting or collage. One unifying theme is the natural world, expressed in forms of plants, shells, rocks, weeds, mountains, and sky. Bold color and strong contrast of light and dark play a large part in these pieces. Living in southern California opened up a new world for me, filled with vast landscapes, exotic plants and saturated color. Old missions and ancient rock formations in the national parks across the western territory provided endless possibilities. Later, when I moved back to New England, I experimented with collage and mixed media printmaking. The landscapes changed and became more influenced by the human impact on the environment. Unfortunately, most of this impact is destructive, resulting in the presentation of invasive influences on tranquil scenes.
Since life insisted on my making a steady income, the scenery painting skills learned at the Little Theater for the Deaf in New London, Connecticut came in handy. I started working with Debra Abel, a dancer and friend from my time at Connecticut College. This has become a 25-year collaboration involving set design and costume painting for both her school of dance and her professional dance company.
This adventure has allowed me to experiment and push myself to create, design and build projects on a shoestring budget. These projects fill a stage for a brief magical time before being recycled to make room for the next year’s creation. Such a useful skill set of adaptability has come in handy at my job as Operations Manager for the Arlington Center for the Arts. This position has been an amazing experience, giving me the opportunity to work with artists, performers and musicians from all over New England to create art festivals, exhibits and performances.
Year-round teaching allows me to work on community projects such as painting large scale murals, art workshops and classes in printmaking, painting, and collage with students ranging in age from 4 to 18.
Probably my best experience over the years has been to organize and grow Arlington Open Studios. The excitement and energy that goes into organizing such an event is inspiring and life affirming. So much beauty in this crazy world!
“As an artist, drawing and painting have been a life-long driving force.”

Website: www.PamShanley.com 



Costumes created for the Debra Abel Dance Company

Set designer for the Beauty Road, Debra Abel Dance Company

Pam Shanley helping to install mural at the Arlington Center for the Arts

2020 WORKBAR Art Reception, Arlington

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