Wk9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

This week my artist conversation was with Maccabee Shelley. His gallery was interesting to say the least. It contained different glass sculptures. The sculptures were made up of glass and ceramic, the glass was melted and shaped. Shelley graduated from Humboldt University with a degree in student art and is now studying at CSULB to continue his art education. He has always been fascinated by science, but later in his college career he realized that he was more intrigued by art. Shelley found ways to intertwine his science and art fascination, by creating glass art. All of the pieces of glass he fires in a kiln then arranges into different displays. His ultimate goal is to be able to create art for a community that wants to share his love of art.

Shelley has always been fascinated by the material glass so it was an easy decision to use that material in his gallery. He was inspired by how it can be shaped into so many different designs, it could be smooth and clear or sharp and colorful. With all of these different ways of how the material can be presented, Shelley had many different options of how to craft each piece. When describing how he decided how to place each sculpture he described the show as a rest stop on a big trip of his artistic journey. He picked certain pieces and put them in certain places in the room to attempt to show what he is working on and how much work he puts into it. For the few pieces that we see there are five or six things that are either thrown away or still in his workshop. He overproduces for each of his galleries. We only get to see such a small piece of his journey, but it is an extremely talented piece.

Shelley gets his different materials from a recycling center or garage sales. He tries to use previously used materials when created his sculptures. He has learned over his years of creating where to look for materials, he even looks through the dumpsters in the science department buildings. With his resourcefulness, he has reduced his costs allowing him to create more pieces than before. He has even created such a large presence in the community that people now drop off different materials at his workshop for him to use.

I really enjoyed the different piece. All of the different colors and the different shapes are so intriguing. To imagine how someone could shape glass that used to be a bottle into something so creative amazes. I imagine it must be hard to make a bunch of glass look like art when before it was just a bunch of trash, but Shelley has achieved greatness with this gallery. The pieces all had a different shape and each piece pulled me in as I tried to figure out how the artist created it. I really enjoyed this gallery and the different type of art that is contained.

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