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Robert Henri Museum Announces Artist in Residence for July | Latest news

Press release Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery

COZAD – The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Shelby Marzoni will be the Artist in Residence from July 1st to July 15th 2022. A reception will be held at the museum on Thursday 7th July from 17:00 to 19:00. honor it. Shelby’s work will be on display at the museum with many available for purchase.

Additionally, Shelby will hold an art class at the museum’s gallery over two days on July 5th and 6th. For those interested in taking the course they will need to be 18 years old and the museum will provide the necessary materials. The cost will be $ 15 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the museum at 308-784-4154.

Shelby’s biography is interesting and follows:

I was born and raised in Northern Illinois and lived in Indiana for many years, where I met my husband Giff, studied psychology and sociology at Purdue University, worked as a weight management consultant, and became a childbirth educator. If someone had told the young “me” that the older “me” would be an obsessive painter, I would not have believed him.

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Giff and I moved to San Diego, California with our son, Andrew, in 1987. Giff worked as a pharmaceutical chemist and I worked for a local hospital system as a birthing and breastfeeding educator. Four children later, our family was complete. Somewhere around the time when the two little ones were babies and toddlers, the “artistic me” stretched out and started waking up from its long dormancy. His first expression was the spoken word. In the hours stolen from naps, music lessons and soccer practice, I pulled out poems, essays, short stories, and finally a novel on my laptop.

I had dabbled in drawing and painting, but started seeing myself as an artist while studying acrylic painting with Olya Losina at Prima Materia. Olya is a talented teacher who, instead of attempting to mold her lei students into stylistic clones of herself, she sees their potential almost immediately and sets out to direct them to their true north. When Olya developed her teacher training program, I enthusiastically entered her first cohort. At that point, my serious learning really began! There is nothing like taking on the role of a “teacher” to accelerate and deepen one’s learning. Having no formal artistic training and being over 50, I had to catch up

I am a lifelong student, committed to always being a student, as well as an artist and teacher. The longer I painted with acrylic, the more frustrated I became with his limitations and began to explore oil painting. An artist friend introduced me to my current oil instructor and mentor, Margaret Chiaro, who taught me everything I know about oil technique

Between 2007 and 2010 I taught art in an after-school program for middle and high school students. I also facilitated and taught several painting classes as a fundraiser for the school program. During and after my training as a teacher, I taught Prima Materia with Olya Losina. From 2017 until the pandemic’s forced closure, I taught a weekly acrylic painting class at the Senior Center in Imperial Beach, California, and curated an annual winter exhibition of student art at the Imperial Beach Library. I currently teach private students in my home studio

I’ve used the relative loneliness of the past two turbulent years to develop bodies of serial work, perfect my oil technique, and get to know my community by exhibiting and selling my work in “pop-up shows” on weekends.

Shelby’s artist statement is as follows:

I paint because it makes me feel powerful and masterful. I like to use composition and color to guide the viewer into a landscape or ocean scene I have created or introduce them to the deepest core of a portrait subject’s soul by sharing the right facial expression. While I never claim to market my art as photorealistic, I strive to portray my subject with a level of representation that I deem appropriate for the work. In general, my approach to portraiture is much more careful and realistic than my landscapes, which often border on impressionism. In the two years I have also made excursions into surrealism, applying my most realistic approach to storytelling

The pieces in this exhibit have mostly been completed in the past three years and represent the series that began during the pandemic. Included are many of my close-up portraits of comedians, a series called Unleased Angst. For years I have enjoyed painting pop musicians performing. The turmoil and uncertainty created by the pandemic and political turmoil have sparked the need to respond emotionally in ways that would not have been easily accepted by an older, privileged white woman. But standing comics, on the other hand, can get away with saying anything! So I watched comic specials, snapping hundreds of photos, carefully choosing and editing faces that expressed exactly what I was going to say in words at the time. Each was lovingly painted in oil until she started “talking to me” which is always my signal that the portrait is complete.


Since I have been painting, I have turned to landscapes and seascapes to relax. I feel this is mainly due to the fact that I don’t have to worry about creating a likeness and can devote my energy to “enhancing nature” and composing to fit the image rather than sticking closely to what I see with my physical eyes . While traveling, I compulsively take photographs, always keeping the best shots to inspire me in the future. The landscapes and seascapes you see here represent those painted from previous photos and some from photos taken during the pandemic. Some are miniatures painted while traveling, on a campsite, or on a table or desk in a vacation home or hotel. Although I am primarily a studio painter, I have dabbled in open air painting at local sites

Last year, the art world lost one of my painting heroes, artist and teacher Wayne Thiebaud. He was 99 years old and continued to paint until he was ninety. As a tribute and reminder of his work and his iconic style. I painted several bright and heavily textured original pieces inspired by his work. Many are exhibited here

My boldest exploration over the past couple of years has been surrealism. I have composed an apocalyptic narrative that I call Eyes of the World, in which each painting depicts a world that slips from ease and tranquility to catastrophe, ending in rebirth, reconstruction and escape. Anatomical references and landscape elements mix to create a stage where shrewd cats demonstrate their abilities to predict, react, constructively repair damage and escape disaster. This series allowed me to merge my painting technique with my writer’s love for world building.

When you don’t like where you are, change your address. When you can’t do it, find something to laugh about!

The museum’s artists’ programs are sponsored by museum members. The Artist in Residence program was established in 1988 to encourage understanding and appreciation of the arts in central Nebraska and to further the legacy of Robert Henri, one of America’s greatest art masters. He has taught over a thousand students over the course of his long career, including famous artists such as Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, George Bellows, Marjorie Ryerson and Elizabeth Grandin.

Artists can apply to the museum for consideration for entry into the program by going to its web page, printing the application and submitting it. Applications for the 2023 program are currently being accepted.

The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery is a national treasure that is the result of the work of many volunteers, board members and professional staff who have worked hard for more than thirty years. The site is now listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places and has more Henri paintings and sketches on display than any other museum or gallery. The museum complex is located at 218 East 8th Street in Cozad and is open from May 1st to October 31st from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm For more information call 308-784-4154 or visit the museum website www.roberthenrimuseum .org or its Facebook page.

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