New Work by Artist Matthew P. Shelton at Mary Baldwin’s Hunt Gallery

September 24, 2014

From October 6 to 31, 2014, the exhibition Puncture<portal<peephole<lens< by Matthew P. Shelton will be on view at Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery. This is his first one-person exhibition.

Shelton is an artist and educator living in Charlottesville, VA. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 and a BFA from Guilford College in 2004. During the winter of 2011–12, he facilitated an outdoor mural collaboration between 1708 Gallery and Offender Aid and Restoration clients in downtown Richmond, VA. In August of that year, Shelton participated in a weeklong collaboration with Trinidadian artist Nikolai Noel at the ICA at the Maine College of Art in Portland. Shelton’s photo essay “The Revenant” was published in the Fall 2013 issue of Southern Cultures, the journal of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South.

Since receiving his MFA, Shelton has taught 2-D design, drawing, digital printmaking and screen-based studio methods, and contemporary art history, as well as a self-designed course on art and activism called Good Art for Do-Gooders. In November, Shelton will be one of six American artists awarded a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the New York-based public art non-profit Creative Time’s fifth annual summit exploring the intersection of art and social justice.

Shelton writes the following about his art practice and creative research: “Memory presses against the present at once naturally and uncomfortably–like touching the bare skin of a stranger. I use my art practice as a space from which to pose questions, most often about the past, to explore how our understanding of memory relates to other aspects of consciousness: mind and body, subjective and collective, the self and the other, time, inheritance.

“My creative research consists of a call-and-response dynamic between digesting-time and making-time. Contemplation, reading, and journaling allow loose associations to form and dissolve between differing areas of interest (for instance, formation of the self; formal vs. informal histories; found versus handmade versus fabricated works; texture, its absence, and ramifications for the body; sense-memory and place), while in the workshop, gestural diversions explore relative harmony and/or enmity between various materials and processes. The quicker object-based work forms in the negative, unsurveilled spaces of its more cerebral twin, informing, distressing and ultimately shifting the line of inquiry. Then the questions re-form, demanding the materials and processes answer for themselves all over again.

“Neither method is less effective. It doesn’t matter how fast one is or slow the other. One settles, one releases. They are sibling, empathic, necessitating each other into existence.”

A reception will be held for the artist on Monday, October 6, 4:30–6 p.m. in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend.

Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2014–2015 academic year can be found online.