I’m Artist Shelley Bruce, a 28 year-old Los Angeles native sharing my work locally, nationally & internationally.
My Purpose is to use art, story & community to inspire significant world change.
...And Yes, you can tell by all the titles I do a bit of Everything..
Let me explain...
a 2011 graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, I hold two degrees in Ethnic Studies and Fine Art. Pomona’s Arts Colony provided a platform to hone my talents, and I give constant praise to its community that nurtured my growth for 10 years. thank you Pomona for being my my second home.
Also a little over 10 years ago, at age 17 I was hired for my first art commission and I’ve been developing ever since. I’ve most notably, traveled to Washington DC, New York, Ghana, Hawaii, London, Bermuda and across Southern California sharing my painting.
Live painting is what I enjoy most, creating art before audiences of weddings, corporate celebrations, fundraisers, concerts and other special events.
One of my most privileged experiences as a painter in 2009, coordinated by my dynamic professor and mentor Dr. Renford Reese, was to paint a mural for the W.E.B. DuBois Museum in Accra, Ghana, located in the final home of the legendary scholar.
In recent years, poetry has become a close second to visual art. A Mic and Dim Lights, Southern California’s second oldest open mic (Da Poetry Lounge being the first), allowed me to witness many spoken word greats such as Taalam Acey, Food 4 Thot and Socks, Shihan Van Clief, Besskepp, Simply Kat, Rudy Francisco, Nikki Blak and more.
With an education of watching working artists live by example I grew, and now share my poetry at colleges, radio shows, special events and more. I have competed in the San Diego Poetry Slam, Da Poetry Lounge Poetry Slam, Annual Ink Slam, Size it Up Women’s Slam, and am currently a participant of the Community Literature Initiative (CLI) writer’s workshop to ultimately publish my first book.
One of my proudest moments was in March 2016, performing an original piece for the Agape International Spiritual Center’s first Women’s Day Service, an entirely “goddess” lead celebration, hosted by agape's women's ministry, for several hundred attendees and streamed to thousands worldwide.
COMMUNITY & SERVICE
Painting and Poetry are two of several expressive vehicles I use, but my spiritual beliefs and community are the fuel.
As Nina Simone states
“An artists’ duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times”.
& as Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith intuits
“God[dess] is always seeking to express [itself] through you”.
My background in the higher education and nonprofit sectors have largely enabled me to organize and build community spaces. I served for two years (2011-2013) as the founding Art Director of the Prison Education Project (PEP) alongside experienced Prison Arts instructor Tom Skelly. I was privileged to travel to Uganda in July 2013 with a team of PEP leaders to begin PEP Uganda, a program now hosted each summer since 2014. I have worked several other organizations focused on the priorities of accessible education, women, people of color, gender and sexuality, youth, and social justice.
one of my proudest moments was creating an event series called "return of the divine feminine" that pushed me to utilize all of my skills. the 3 city tour explore that explored idea of "the goddess" was a collaboration with Amen-RA founder of the Illuminati spiritual center.
Gratitude and Highest Blessings to you for finding your way here.
(....and for getting to the end of this unapologetically, lengthy biography)
I’ve done my best to paint a picture of what has molded me into this wild, imperfectly perfect, and passionate woman. My journey has been a challenge, for reasons that are my own and those that life divinely placed in front of me.
I give thanks every morning to
The Source that is us,
the gift of being alive,
& ALL THOSE on this path who I see now as family.
So what am I up to now? CHECK IT OUT!
Currently (and less poetically) my goal is to pursue art full-time. I provide services such as live event paintings, custom art, poetry performances, community events, modeling, meditation and spirituality tours and more. BOOK ME!
I intend to complete the CLI Scholars program in Summer of 2017 commencing in the publishing of my first book, and to travel domestically and abroad with my artwork.