Bugera Matheson Gallery introduces Stephen Shellenberger to Edmonton
With a folksy approach to art, Stephen’s colourful textile works have a painterly composition that pleases the eye, and narrative style that holds your interest. The works on newspaper continue to tell stories that are glossy, and maybe even a bit glib – they’ve got a bit of attitude. You can’t help but love them because they are so much fun. – Angela Bugera
“Best thing for any artist is to find your originality. Schools can sometimes knock it out of you and technique, although important, it is not paramount to me. I want to see art that moves me.
Picasso once said, I am paraphrasing, but something along the lines that he had tried his whole adult life to learn how to paint like a child. It is that ‘feeling’ I think he may have been referring to. That wide-eyed wonder and a child’s recklessness to just paint or draw what makes us feel good. I am lucky because I have had very few teachers. I have, through trial and error, found my way to my art.
My process is my process. I don’t know of anyone that works the way I do. First off, what I paint on isn’t simply a piece of canvas to me. I select, often from someone’s discards, a piece of fabric. It could an old and faded curtain that once covered the windows of someone’s house. I will use boat tarp, or say, a house painter’s splattered drop cloth. Newspapers as well. Really almost anything that people feel has outlived its purpose. In other words, I take someone’s “throw away” and rebirth it. I aim to choose pieces that have some joy in them.
Lately, I make art with newspaper -. I have a certain disdain for some of the news that gets shovelled at us, so I rebirth the newspapers with images and messages that please me. But art also preserves beauty and hope sometimes from tragic times. Much of my work is personal and some pieces are based on some tragic events in my life but no one needs to know those details, people can just like it for what they see in it.”
The work and more about Stephen will be posted on July 1.