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Check out Shellye Tow’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shellye Tow.

Shellye, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in Wylie, TX. before being an artist I was a manager for Chili’s later I joined the military as a medic. After being discharged I decided to pursue my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in photography. I have always been an artist of some sort. As a child and young adult I loved to sketch and always considered myself a sketch artist, but due to a medication side effect I was unable to continue to sketch so I switched to photography as a form of art and storytelling.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I primarily work in photography. I composite many photographs together to create a single image that tells a story. My current primary series is Exposed. The series uses visual imagery to unveil the reality of mental illness in an effort to wrestle with the stigma faced in society by those who suffer from these disorders. By highlighting personalized narratives of the struggle with psychological illnesses the social stigmas and reactions are divulged through this body of work. With this series I interviewed people who suffered mental illness and then created images based on their personal story. I have found that through this many times people who also suffer from mental illness find comfort in knowing that someone else struggles the way they do. They have also expressed they feel as though the series creates a voice for those that suffer. Additionally for those that do not experience mental health issues they are hopefully educated on the topic and the struggle in a more personal way rather than the usual medical jargon.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think today many people think that art is too complicated and I think it’s important to create art that can tell a story and can be clear to the general public. I hope to reach many with my art not only those who seek out art, but those who typically are not interested in art in an effort to hopefully change a stigma.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
From now until March 11 the series is up at 500x Gallery in Dallas. After that I will post updates to my next gallery shows on my social media sites. Additionally my website always has up to date info. This fall I plan to release a book that has the individual image and stories that go with each piece. People can support my work by going and visiting galleries, visiting my website. Volunteering to have your photograph taken and story told and of course each piece is listed for sale.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shellye Tow

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