In the vibrant arts community of Olympia, Washington, Shelley Carr has enjoyed more than forty years creating, teaching, and supporting the arts. For many years, she was known as a batik artist, a quilter, a painter, a graphic designer, an illustrator, and a calligrapher. For more than a half a dozen years, copper has become her favorite material. “Sometimes, certain mediums just speak to an artist. Copper has chattered at me since my undergraduate days working with this lively metal in both jewelry design and printmaking at Washington State University.”
While taking a “metal arts” Saturday morning community class at a local community college, where the primary focus was the art of welding, she connected with copper once more. “In 2005, I retired from salaried work enabling me to devote my time and passion to unsalaried work-ART. I love using a photo etching process to complete single presentations of images or multiples designed as “copper quilts.”
This reflective work might be based on photographic studies of patterns in favorite places, modes of travel, or the glorious patterns of nature. She looks for possibilities in anything and everything from power lines to tree canopies to metal grill work. Anything with patterns intrigues her. Interesting textures result from the “etch” and the variations in color, “patinas” are created by the application of heat.
Shelley has been showing in galleries as well as in public collections in the Pacific Northwest. Purchased and commissioned work is also in private collections up and down the west coast from Washington to California and across the country in Washington, DC. In 2010, Carr was selected as one of four artists whose work is on permanent display in Olympia’s New City Hall. Fifty-six artists submitted completed work for consideration. Shelley’s two pieces selected by the jury, “Essence of Olympia”, are each 30” x 40” copper quilts.