The Artist

shelley-curtiss-artist-at-workMy Studio

I am never alone

In my Sacred Solitude

Forever I am listening

And speaking at once,

To my subject,

To my audience.


Artist Statement

This poem "My Studio" is an expression of my experience as an artist.  As I begin with an inspiration, I attempt to speak to others through the visual language of art.  The vocabulary seems to be universal. The Center is within the quality of line, form, texture, and color.  However, there is a point of transition during which it seems I am no longer the artist with a statement to make. Instead, I become the medium through which my art is speaking.  It requires me to listen carefully and speak clearly.

Artist Bio

Today Shelley’s bronze sculptures are permanently installed in private and corporate collections and public parks across the nation, including five parks in New York City.

In 1986 Shelley moved to the small town of Joseph, high in the mountains of Northeast Oregon, where the landscape is remote and inspirational.  After establishing her studio, in 1989 she poured her first crucible of molten bronze at Joseph Art Castings, a fine art foundry which she co-owned, built, and operated for six years.  Still a resident artist of Joseph, Oregon, Shelley has raised her children, become a teacher and advocate for the Arts, and been a community leader.

Shelley has pursued an ongoing education in the Arts through her own independent study.  Although her early college education culminated in a BS degree in Microbiology in 1973, her career in the sciences was short-lived relative to her passion for sculpture.  In addition to her stylized, representational wildlife figures, her work also includes a series of sculptures influenced by her interest in Taoism.

Community Involvement

Over the past twenty-five years Shelley has been an active member of her community serving as President of the Wallowa Valley Arts Council, Vice President of the Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council, Chairman of the Wallowa Valley Arts Festival, a ten-year member of The City of Joseph City Council, serving on numerous committees, and Mayor of The City of Joseph. As Mayor, she spearheaded the county’s first Economic Improvement District and spearheaded a successfully executed 3.8 million dollar Main Street Beautification Project for The City of Joseph to help diversify the local economy and facilitate a growing arts community. She was also a participant in Rotary International’s first International Women’s Friendship Exchange with Brazil’s Rotary International.

Shelley designed one of the first fine art galleries on Main Street Joseph for Valley Bronze Foundry and was hired as Executive Director of Marketing. She was co-owner, builder, and operator of Joseph Art Castings, a fine art casting foundry in Joseph, Oregon, from 1989 to 1995. As a professional sculptor, she has owned and operated Curtiss Studios & Enterprises for over twenty years. Presently, she is collaborating with Parks Bronze, Norman Arts, the local Rotary International club, and the local high school to conceptualize and establish a fine art welding school to train and certify welders in the region.  As current President of the Wallowa Valley Arts Council, she is collaborating with the Joseph City Council and Library, the Joseph Chamber of Commerce, the Chief Joseph Rodeo Committee, and the Joseph School District to explore future planning possibilities, including expansion of arts facilities, within the City of Joseph.

Personal Interests

Shelley is an avid hiker of the canyons and mountains in Northeast Oregon, "come rain, snow, sleet, ice, or shine". Identifying the abundant wild flowers in the spring and summer is one of her favorite interests. She is a fishing enthusiast and a voracious reader of art, science, politics, psychology, mythology, and religion. She is a devoted practitioner of Immortal Crane Tai Chi, Chi Gong and has been a student of Taoism for fifteen years. Of course, her primary interest is in her studio.