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Meet Brantly Sheffield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brantly Sheffield.

Brantly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Well, I guess I should start with moving to Kansas City Missouri to attend art school at the Kansas City Art Institute. I graduated in 2014 with my BFA in Illustration. I hung around KC for another year or so, making a new body of work for my first solo exhibition at the Late Show art gallery (which burned down about a six months ago, and the owner of the gallery Tom Deatherage passed in May 2017).

During the exhibition, I found out I got accepted to Boston University’s MFA Painting program. I moved to Boston in August of 2015 to start graduate school. I spent two amazingly grueling years developing my visual language in a pressure cooker studio type situation. We had our Thesis group exhibition in April of 2017, and I graduated with my MFA in May of 2017.

After graduation, I was looking for something to do. I was working for a real estate broker in Boston, moving out of the graduate studios, and starting to get depressed. When Josephine Halvorson the chair of BU’s MFA program approached me about an adjunct teaching opportunity that alumni had in Texas.

I inquired, got hired, and I am currently teaching at Tarrant County College South Campus and Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch as an adjunct instructor of art. I am also hanging out on the old east side of Dallas making new work in my studio.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
lol yeah no, smooth isn’t the way I would describe it, nor would I want it to be. Besides all of the doubt, questioning, and paranoia surrounding my studio work, you know, picking up and moving across the country two times in two years isn’t a cake walk and expensive. My mentor/art dealer dying last year was tough.

More recently switching communities, having to attempt to meet new people and access the resources in the community compiled with the uncertainty of an adjunct instructor’s gig floating around in the back of my mind, being able to put money into my studio work while maintaining life’s responsibilities. . . so yeah those are few of the struggles off the top of my head.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
So, I have a studio space that I make work in. Depending on what part of the process I’m in I could be painting, drawing, staring, prepping, or stretching. In my work, I think about things like light and space in conjunction with a color form that is representative of my filtered viewing experience.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up we played outside a lot, did sports, you know the typical suburban upbringing in Edmond Oklahoma. Getting into high school I was skateboarding a lot and could not wait to get out of Oklahoma some way. I was an ok student that loathed high school and didn’t care for most of the people in it.

I had an aptitude for the art classes and was encouraged to take all of the art that my high school had to offer. So I was an “art” kid in high school. My parents and art teachers encouraged me to apply for art school instead of going to do whatever younger Brantly had planned. (which couldn’t have been good).

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