28 Mar Stephenson Showcase: Nebulas and Stardust by Sheldon Shalley
Sheldon Shalley’s creative style of painting emerges from one of several methods: pulling images from his dreams, images he meets in meditation sessions, images he sees during Shamanic journeying and images inspired by models and photographs. Why these methods? Sheldon is a psychotherapist, and uses dreams, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, shamanic healing and energy medicine to help his clients. With these tools, he is able to take these mindful journeys himself, using art to connect with parts of the psyche that can express and heal our painful stories. His art honors his encounters and experiences during his dreams and meditations, which helps him connect with them more deeply.
Sheldon wasn’t always an artist—he was taught how to paint in a dream 20 years ago. A dream so vivid that once he shared it with his dream group, they told him he had to paint. While Sheldon explained that he didn’t know how, they advised him to “just do what you did in the dream.” He did, and as they say, “the rest is history.”
For this exhibit, Sheldon uses photos of outer space as his inspiration. Quantum Physics suggests that all things and beings are connected and that our minds are connected with a cosmic mind. Carl Sagan, one of our generation’s greatest science educators, popularized one unbelievable fact—we are stardust. Sagan says that most of the atoms in our body were formed inside of stars, supernovae, and neutron star collisions. In fact, scientists who have measured the distribution of essential elements of life in over 150,000 stars in the Milky Way claim that 97% of the human body consists of stardust.
In this Showcase, Nebulas and Stardust, Sheldon has created paintings inspired by photos of nebula and stardust to honor our connection to the stars. As an energy worker, he often sees energy in matter. “When working with a client, I may see what is vibrating in their field. All matter is energy at its deepest level.”
While Sheldon will create what he sees, viewers may pull their own vision out of his work. “As I see paintings in my mind, there is more form to it than just swirling paint, there’s often an image in the energy. I’m going to paint energy, not sure how, but I’ll do it and then I’ll see the vision in that energy.” In this particular series Sheldon has left the vision to the viewer.
See the full exhibit “Nebulas and Stardust” in the Stephenson House Wednesday-Friday 12–5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. from April 7-29. Meet Sheldon at his free public reception, during Nickel Plate Arts April First Friday from 6–9 p.m. on Friday, April 7. Young artists in grades 1-6 can join Sheldon on a Visual Journey of Discovery through Fairy Stardust on April 22 at 11am and 1pm on Nickel Plate Arts campus during Welcome to Fairyville. No registration required for these 30-minute creative sessions.