“I have always felt a little like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole,” admits artist Shelly Salter. “People seem to expect an artist to be a little different, and accept it!”
Shelly Salter is a little different and that difference is the unique perspective she brings to each piece she creates, telling her stories in strokes of paint. Shelly has been painting in oil since she was nine years old, when her parents bought her a set of oil paints and some lessons. Her oil on linen piece, “Iphigenia” brought her one of the top awards at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs June Exhibition, “Well, Hello Summer.”
Salter’s mystical stories on canvas are inspired by artists like John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla, both of whom were portrait and figurative painters. Salter most easily relates to the work of the old illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, “Who was a master at narrative art,” offers Salter. Salter’s work includes both commissioned portraits and original art. “Faces are my specialty,” says Salter. “I have always studied faces and find them fascinating, like road maps to the inside of a person. I find it irresistible that there are no two alike.”
Salter’s iridescent smile lights up when she talks about art. Shelly’s face and entire presence offer a clear map to the depth and radiance behind her art. Salter, whose hair is the color of ocean spray, personifies her passion for the environment. “I am passionate about two things; my art, and our endangered environment,” says Salter. Respect for the environment is a consistent theme in Salter’s work. Shelly’s concern for the environment includes the effects of chemicals on us and our world, supporting green investments and the use of GMO’s in our foods. Salter uses her ability to write to effect change in these areas.
“I love to write and have a journalism degree from the University of Miami, so I love it when people come in and actually read the stories that accompany some of my paintings,” says Salter. “The Demeter is a favorite painting of mine. I love Greek mythology. Those stories can be interpreted so many different ways and encompass so many subjects like jealousy, greed, love and war.”
The many subjects and stories of Shelly Salter can be seen in her working studio at the Promenade in Bonita Bay. Her studio at the Promenade is in conjunction with The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Art in Public Places program. This program allows painters, sculptors, photographers and glass artists to regularly display their work in various storefront locations at the Promenade at Bonita Bay. Artists Studios are open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. New exhibitions, and artists, occupy the studios every 30 to 60 days. The last Thursday of each month kicks off a new group of artists and exhibitions in an evening Art Walk, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., accompanied by musical entertainment.
Salter offers a last thought, “The best thing about being an artist is that when you are with other artists you really feel like you finally fit in and that is why I love being at the Promenade! It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Shelly Salter will be teaching two 5-week classes this fall at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs. 1. Fundamentals of Drawing begins on Monday August 22, from 1:00-4:00pm and runs for five consecutive Mondays and 2. Intermediate Drawing begins on Monday November 14, from 1:00-4:00pm and runs for five consecutive Mondays. If you would like to take one of Shelly’s classes, call 239-495-8989 or on line at www.artcenterbonita.org.
Who: Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs
What: Center for the Arts Studios at the Promenade at Bonita Bay, Art Walk
When: Thursday, July 28, 2011; 4-7 p.m.
Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S Bay Dr, Bonita Springs, Florida
Cost: FREE and open to the public