Nonsense, right? Not in Shen’s ever evolving journey of art…. (and don’t worry, no one got robbed)
Hi friends! I’ve missed you so much! So many exciting things have happened this year, I almost don’t know where to begin, but here we go…
THREE NEW MURALS
Back in October, I was honored to design and create a mural for St David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, TX. More than 20 of my friends from CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts), during our biannual conference, came to partner with me on this amazing piece. Participants wrote scripture on pieces of paper which were collaged into the mural background. It was so exciting because this was my first mixed-media mural. “Set Free” represents the transformative power of God’s word in our lives. It brought me such joy to bring this concept to life.
“Live to Dance”
Over Spring Break, I created a mural for The Performing Arts Center (PAC) in Spring, Texas. This mural really allowed me to tap into my graffiti roots. My daughters Jessy (11) and Jayda (13) came to help and exceeded my expectations, giving up days of their vacation wanting to paint with me! The majority of my time was spent trying to stay one step ahead of these talented girls! I was really glad that I went with my wonderful hubby the day before, who expertly helped me set up, project, and sketch the basic layout. Special thanks to Brandi and Megan for this amazing opportunity to make their space even more fun, bright and joyful!
“Hunger Crush Cafe”
In April, I painted a mural for The Hunger Crush Cafe on Lake Conroe, Texas, which is independently owned by Mike and Mary Kelton. It’s a bright and playful mural; a snapshot of lake life! This project was especially meaningful to me as a portion of the proceeds benefits the Montgomery County Food Bank. “It’s very important to Mary and I to give back to the community we live and work in. The Food Bank plays a very important role in addressing and resolving food insecurity to so many.” A cause I was happy to get behind! If you’re in the area, bring the family and order a hunger board to share and take a selfie with my newest mural!
A NEW BOOK COVER
Last year, Becca Cary, founder of Hands Of Justice, wrote “When Silence Ends”, a collection of testimonies written by survivors of human trafficking. My painting “The Living Word”, which was painted at ArtReach 2021, was selected as the cover art! In March, this incredible book of triumph and victory was released and is available everywhere books are sold to support survivors. I’m so honored and grateful for this opportunity to donate work to help a cause I care so deeply about.
(image above) “The Living Word” 36” x 48” mixed media on wood.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
What an incredible year it’s been! Of course, in articles like this, you get all the highlights. But there are low times too. Sometimes I find it really challenging to stay true to my calling as an artist. I have struggled with that this year, once again. However, in May, I entered the City Arts Orlando “Revelation Renaissance” art contest. I had one week to study this fascinating book of the Bible and create a vision of it! My piece was selected from over 600 entries. My hubby Jimmy and I hopped on a plane and flew out for the artist’s reception, excited and hopeful for the opportunity and the quick getaway, but not necessarily expecting more than the experience. Another artist took home the top prize and we flew home, thinking that was that. A few days later, I opened Facebook to discover that my painting, “Revelation: The Coming of World Peace” had won the People’s Choice Award! I think this is my first ever ribbon after painting professionally for almost 4 decades, as I NEVER enter art contests. I was stunned, to say the least, and incredibly honored to have been selected as a winner in this outstanding exhibition among 22 extraordinary artists, and to receive a $1000 prize!
(image above) Revelation: The Coming of World Peace, 24” x 24” mixed media on wood.
HANDS OF JUSTICE ART REACH GALA
In August, I had the privilege of painting live for the 4th annual Hands of Justice Art Reach for Freedom Gala benefitting survivors of human trafficking. I’ve had the incredible blessing to paint live at the last 3 galas and it’s always an amazing experience. I’m awed and humbled by the way God can rescue souls from such brokenness, and create inexplicable beauty from the ashes! The stories of women not only surviving but overcoming are some of the strongest testimonies I’ve ever heard, and I was so honored to celebrate with them! So many people were moved to buy art and donate to this worthy cause and the experience was simply incredible! We sold 95% of our inventory for a great cause!