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Shelley Smith

United States

Born in 1966

Joined Artisor: February 2024

Artist Stats

Total pieces for sale: 3

Total pieces sold: 1

Highest price piece sold: $1,595 (No Vacancy)

Average price per square inch: $5


Shelley knew her colors before she could talk and has been creating art for as long as she can remember. She was born in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and grew up in Milwaukee, and although she was always strongly drawn to art, her family convinced her to pursue a more conventional existence. So, reducing her art practice to a few electives in college, Shelley went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business. 

After fulfilling the family’s educational obligations, and graduating with high honors, she finally felt free to pursue her art – albeit relegated to her spare time as her jobs in corporate America always take priority. In addition, although Shelley enjoyed working with a broad range of mediums, she was always enticed by luscious, colorful oils. So, in pursuing excellence in this medium, she decided to focus specifically on oil painting. 

Throughout her career, Shelley’s felt unsettled, constantly being pulled in both directions. The “easy” way out would be to drop the art; however, she’s realized time and again, leaving her art out of her life leaves a hole in her heart. In addition, when she’s working on her art, she feels like she’s doing it for God, after all, He’s the one who gave her this inspiration. As such, she’s carried her painting as her second job and entrepreneurship for the better part of 20+ years.

Shelley is a juried member of both Oil Painters of America, and the International Guild of Realism, as well as an elected artist member in the American Artists Professional League and has earned signature membership in American Women Artists.


From Maine to Milwaukee to Denver to the small towns in Colorado and to San Francisco, for over 20 years I’ve been seeking subjects that rekindle my child-like imagination – making me wonder what these places and things were like in their heyday, what they’re like now, and what’ll happen to them in the future. Add warm sunlight and deep shadows, creating more drama, and a new site quickly becomes a favorite subject.

Ironically, the subjects that capture my attention are things many people see every day, but don’t truly see. Maybe it’s an overpass on their way to work, an old watering hole, or a railroad car parked on a siding. If these places and things could talk, I’m sure they’d have stories to tell. With this, I proceed to fall in love, and romanticize them in my work, making them cleaner, less rundown, and more colorful than present-day reality. 

Lastly, I believe there must be something unique about my paintings beyond that of a photograph because if my painting is just like the photo, then what’s the point of the painting? In the end, my goal is that my work evokes emotions in the viewer – perhaps a sense of place and at least a touch of the history, irony, or isolation that snagged me in the first place.


X (Twitter): @spunkybohemian

Facebook: @spunkybohemian

Bio Author: I.G.O.R. Show in Scottsdale

  • Artworks
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Previous works sold

Solo Exhibitions

2022 – Hidden in Plain Sight, Museum of Wisconsin Art St. Johns on the Lake, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

2019 – Still More Sights Often Seen, Rarely Noticed, Ovation Jewish Home, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

2017 – More Sights Often Seen Rarely Noticed, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI. USA.

2014 – Sights Often Seen, Rarely Noticed, Beloit Art Center, Beloit, WI. USA.

2001 – Shelley Smith Solo, Charlene’s Gallery Ten, Gill’s Rock, WI. USA.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2024 – International Guild of Realism (IGOR) 18th Annual Exhibit, T H Brennen Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. USA.

2023 – American Women Artists (AWA) Annual Exhibit – Pushing Forward Reaching Back, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC. USA.

2023 – 32nd Oil Painters of America (OPA) National Exhibition, Reinert Fine Art, Charleston, SC. USA.

2022 – IGOR 16th Annual Exhibit, McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD. USA.

2022 – AWA Annual Exhibit – Breaking Through: The Rise of American Women Artists, Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN. USA.

2021 – National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) Fall International On-Line Exhibition. On-line.

2021 – AWA Annual Exhibit – Lifting the Sky: Elevating the Work of Women Artists. On-line.

2020 – American Artists Professional League (AAPL) 92nd Grand National Exhibition. On-line.

2020 – OPA Virtual Salon Exhibition of Traditional Oils. On-line.

2020 – OPA National Exhibition 2020, R S Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX. USA.

2020 – Making their Mark: American Women Artists, Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA. USA.

2020 – Wisconsin Artists Biennial, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI. USA.

2019 – Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, CO. USA.

2019 – Lakefront Festival of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

2018 – Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, IA. USA.

2018 – Lakefront Festival of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

2017 – OPA Eastern Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Anderson Fine Art Gallery, St. Simons Island, GA. USA.

2017 – Beloit & Vicinity: 60 Years Retrospective, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, WI. USA.

2016 – OPA Juried Salon Show of Traditional Oils, Castle Gallery Fine Art, Ft. Wayne, IN. USA.

2015 – OPA Juried Salon Show of Traditional Oils, Beverly McNeil Gallery, Birmingham, AL. USA


2023 – First Place Oil, AAPL Spring Member’s On-line Show.

2022 – Honorable Mention, Art Preservation Institute (API) Annual Curator’s Juried Art Competition.

2022 – Honorable Mention, API Haywain Magazine Winter Exhibit.

2021 – Honorable Mention, API Annual Curator’s Juried Art Competition.

2020 – Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff Award, AAPL 92nd Grand National Exhibition.

2020 – Award of Excellence, Making their Mark: American Women Artists (AWA).

2017 – Best of Show, Art & Chalk Fest, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI.

2016 – Juror Award of Excellence, Wisconsin Visual Artists Southeast Chapter Exhibition, Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, WI. USA.

2015 – 1st Place, 55th Annual Mary Hoard Art Show, Hoard Historical Museum, Ft. Atkinson, WI. USA.

2015 – Chapter Pages, 2015 Denver Business Journal Book of Lists, Denver, CO.

2014 – People’s Choice Award, 57th Annual Beloit and Vicinity Exhibition, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, WI. USA.

2013 – People’s Choice Award, Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) Regional Exhibit Janesville, Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, WI. USA. 

2013 – Viewer’s Choice Award, WRAP Regional Exhibit Beloit, Beloit Art Center, Beloit, WI. USA. 

2011 – Popular Choice Award, 51st Annual Mary Hoard Art Show, Hoard Historical Museum, Ft. Atkinson, WI. USA.


ABC Supply Company, Beloit, WI. USA.

Pen & Inc, Franklin, WI. USA.

Private Collection, UK.

Private Collections, USA.

Swedish American Health System, Rockford, IL. USA.

Tax-Air, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

West Bend Mutual Insurance, West Bend, WI. USA.

Zetley Law Offices, Milwaukee, WI. USA.

Member of the Following Organizations

American Artists Professional League. Elected Artist Member. Joined 2021.

American Women Artists. Signature Member. Joined 2020.

International Guild of Realism. Joined 2022.

Oil Painters of America. Joined 2015.

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