Growing up in the Bronx project, I often found myself wanting to get out. I knew that there was more to the world than my confining environment. At a young age, I learned to navigate my way through the city streets and subways using transit maps as my guide and the subway my gateway to explore the city jungle. My thirst to discover new lands and experience new cultures has led me around the world. The maps I held promised routes and passages to travels unknown.
Roaming the city I discovered the Met and the Art Students League, both nurturing my artistic education. Eventually, I attended Fashion Institute of Technology receiving an A.A. degree in Interior Design. This landed me a job designing carpets for Edward Fields. Two years later, I transferred to Los Angeles where I met my first husband. We left L.A. to live in Spain and travel overland to India. Our journey took us to exotic places such as Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. After a year, we returned to Los Angeles, I attended CSUN receiving a Masters Degree in Fine Arts.
Traveling the world and mapping my journeys has been a way of exploring cultures, terrains and enhancing the visible search for adventures. What emerges is a visual exploration of the world around me.
My recent series of paintings reflect my interest in maps, cartography and topography. They do not represent actual maps, but reference a composite collection of locations that intuitively evoke a sense of place. The paintings are constructed on the grid as an underlying structure of poured colored paints, richly layered surfaces that reveal and conceal strata and crust. I am interested in the physicality of landforms and its evidence of time and age as it emerges from the residue of human marks.
Shelley Heffler is an artist and teacher. Her teaching experience includes Cal State University, Northridge, Otis College of Art and Design, and high school ceramics in Los Angeles.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Shelley discovered the Art Students League at the age of 15 taking drawing and painting classes. She received an A.A. degree in interior design from Fashion Institute of Technology. Painting was her first love and she worked as a carpet designer for Edward Fields. After moving to Los Angeles, she left the country for a year to travel abroad to destinations that were rarely seen and explored by western eyes. Returning to Los Angeles, she attended Cal State, Northridge, studying drawing with Marvin Hardin and sculpture with Robert Bassler.
She received a Masters degree from C.S.U.N. in sculpture and immediately had success with exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Municipal Art Gallery.
Shelley has been teaching ceramics for more than 20 years. She is Nationally Board Certified Professional teacher and mentors new teachers for Los Angeles Unified School District. Her current studio is in Inglewood, California.
2010 Studies Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Studies Penland School of Crafts, NC
1986 MFA California State University, Northridge
1984 BA California State University, Northridge
1972 AA Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY