October 26, 2020
Shelley Spector is a multidisciplinary sculptor and project based artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. In her practice she produces distinct bodies of work that utilize the excess of our consumer-based culture. Spector responds to available materials, mostly discarded, in combination with a changeable work environment. She seeks to make work that takes shape as an agent of change – who begin as sculpture rooted in the art world of form and content but that physically move into the world of social issues and can directly respond to its needs. Her most current work in progress is the defining project for a long term body of work entitled, The Nowadays, which uses a small cabin in the mountains of Pennsylvania as a tool and conduit through which she will explore alternatives to resource economy.
Spector’s work is part of many public and private collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which presented her solo exhibition “Keep The Home Fires Burning” in 2015, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, and the West Collection in PA, and Human Rights Campaign Headquarters in Washington, DC. Her ongoing collaborative project, Village, which began at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has traveled to alternative art spaces in Brooklyn, Costa Rica, San Francisco. Chicago and Montréal. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art In America and featured in ARTnews. She has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Leeway Foundation. Her residencies include Mildred’s Lane in Beach Lake, PA, and RAIR (Recycled Artists In Residence) and Nextfab Studio in Philadelphia. Spector has been actively engaged in Philadelphia’s art community for years as a respected artist, innovative gallery owner, teacher and champion of emerging talent. Between 1999 and 2010, she founded and directed SPECTOR Gallery/Projects, a program to work outside the traditional gallery system. From 2006 to 2013, she published Artjaw.com, an online multimedia anthology of first person stories from the Philadelphia art community. Spector is faculty in the Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.