Shelby Little is an artist from New Orleans living in Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2009. After studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) in Boston for a year and spending an exchange semester at Queens College in New York, Shelby returned home where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2014. She moved to Athens, Georgia in May 2022 where she now lives and works. Shelby has exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and is a member of Where Y'Art Works and Art in Res. She has been an artist-in-residence at Azule in Hot Springs, North Carolina and at Nocefresca in Sardinia, Italy.
I create to explore my spirituality and process the world around me. I like to think of my practice as a productive form of play, making pieces that I want to see, paint, or wear. I’m drawn to bold colors and sharp contrast. I use a variety of materials, including colored pencils, watercolors, gold leaf, and oil paint, to create work that is vibrant and textural.
The otherworldly quality of my pieces gives them a feeling of cheerfulness with an underlying darkness. They have an inherent narrative that unfolds throughout the painting process. As I paint, I weave together inspiration from memories, dreams, and ancient mythology, letting my characters reveal themselves at their own pace.
photo by Stefano Conti