Beth Shively completed her B.A. at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas and subsequently an M.A. from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. She has received two painting grants, one from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and another from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Shunning emphatic statements, Shively’s intuitive paintings convey a cultivated indifference to critical theory. For her, humor and pathos can coexist within a single art work, while influences as disparate as Pop, and Art Brut jostle, alternately obscuring and clarifying one another. Intense color, and aggressive patterning seem to push beyond the moldings that structure the edges of Shively’s paintings. A tough skin of pigment on her wooden panels has the character of sign painter’s enamel, but is in fact traditional oil paint. The physicality of the works, coupled with their robust graphic organization make Shively’s pictures visually powerful, and their implied narratives linger in the mind like teasing puzzles long after the viewer has left the actual presence of the paintings.

~ William H. Rutherfoord