Artist Biography:

After relocating twenty-three times, Shelby Herrman currently resides and teaches in Ulysses, KS. To avoid heavy debt, she worked full-time in the service industry while attending Fort Hays State University to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in painting. With a foundation in charcoal, ink, and graphite, Herrman first started painting seriously in college, finding a new interest in the challenges of oil painting. Vibrant colors, stylistic silhouettes, and the use of varied brushstrokes are prominent elements of her work. Creating representational genre paintings, she focuses on depicting atmospheric, isolated moments around the themes of time and memory. Turbulent midwestern storms and the duality of being a full-time worker and full-time student are reflected in her work, set in everyday scenes from work shifts and commuting. Participating locally in the community of Hays, Herrman has exhibited her work at the Hays Art Council, as well as in juried shows such as Fort Hays State University's Students Honors Exhibition.

Artist Statement:

In a rapidly changing society that expedites change, I am interested in exploring how people view the passage of time and incongruities within memories. Between social influences, financial pressures, and the pursuit of higher education, progress toward goals in life can become very demanding. My works aim to show viewers individual moments as finite experiences that reflect getting caught up in the pursuit of goals as time rushes by.

Parking lots and alleys as well as more intimate spaces like bedrooms or windowsills combine with my studio education in painting, drawing, and historical influences such as Claude Monet and Edward Hopper to create expressionistic atmospheres. Vibrant colors, expressive brushstrokes and lighting are dominant visual components in my art. Drawing from a schedule consumed by work and studies, many elements of scenery and location are incorporated in my pieces like September Parking Lots, focusing on everyday scenes that become easily overlooked or missed between appointments and shifts.

Currently researching themes of time and memory, the process for each piece involves documenting and collecting photographs, sketches, and conceptually exploring how people experience incongruities within memories, or differences between how we remember things and as they factually happened. Comprised of 72 – paintings on gessoed panels, 72 Reasons for 144 Days is a personal collection of small bits in life that seem small but have a substantial impact on how I remember and hold values in my experiences when going through the ups and downs throughout life. I intend to continue exploring how people perceive the passage of time and memories within my body of work in the future.

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