Lora Shelley is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Illustration). At RISD she was selected to spend her junior year abroad in RISD’s European Honors Program with a year of study based in Rome studying Art History, Italian and Studio work and travels throughout Europe. Upon graduating Lora received the esteemed John Randall Orth Memorial Award for Excellence.
Back in the States, Lora’s work fell naturally into the gallery scene, with exhibits and gallery representation in Martha’s Vineyard, Carmel by the Sea, California, Boston, NYC, Greenwich, CT etc. Her work has been widely collected throughout the world, residing in Australia, Africa, Germany, Italy and France. Lora claims her work is better traveled than she is.
The Art in Embassies Program selected Lora’s work to be at the American Ambassador’s residence in Lilongwe, Malawi - 2001-3, then again in 2004-7 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa. Her work was then purchased for the personal collection of the seated American Ambassador.
In 1998 Lora was granted a fellowship at the historic Woodstock School of Art. She was selected to create the annual print for the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum, NY in 2001 also for the Woodstock School of Art in 2008.
Shelley’s work has graced the covers of many regional magazines in the Hudson Valley -- including The Valley Table, The Country and Abroad and Chronogram. Her work was featured in an eight page feature in the Catskill Mountain Region Guide (July 2005). She has been featured nationally in Decor Magazine several times as well as Art Business News. She has been listed in the Art in America Annual Source Book - Museums/Galleries/Artists. Shelley’s work was featured in color with a write up in the New York Times for her solo show in Greenwich,CT (2005).
2013 Lora was selected to create original work for the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Her work can be found on a seed packet (Butternut Squash) and the original is currently touring the country with exhibits organized by the HVSL.
2017 Lora spent the year painting her cat, Charley, everyday as a studio exercise. Culminating in a solo exhibit at the Wired Gallery in High Falls, NY.
2018 The Women’s Studio Workshop’s honored Lora by inviting her to design/illustrate the poster for their Iconic Annual Chili Bowl Fiesta.
Adventuring into diverse media is what keeps Lora’s work fresh. From large format color woodcuts (monotypes, etchings etc.) to hand-built clay sculpture to weaving, Lora always comes back to her true love, painting - but with a renewed sense of space, color and form.