ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Creative Clay Member Artist Shasta G. will debut her solo exhibit, Elegant Expressions, Feb. 8, 5-9 p.m. during ArtWalk.
Shasta, originally from Chicago, has been with Creative Clay since 2015. She started making art in high school and said, “I love art. I don’t dwell on the past. I look toward the future.”
After college in Clearwater, Shasta was in the Navy for three years as an assistant pilot, and she became a radar specialist on her ship. She expressed that she liked being in the service because it was a challenge for her. She also speaks French, which she learned in high school.
Shasta paints with acrylics, her favorite medium, and experiments in styles that range from abstract to figurative. She references artists she admires, such as Modigliani and Frida Kahlo. Her series of portraits of women, both famous (Coretta Scott King) and from her imagination, appeared in a 2017 solo exhibit, “Elegant Women” in the Good Folk Galley. Her work, including hand drawn artist cards, can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts Store.
Director of Exhibitions Jody Bikoff curated the show, which celebrates Creative Clay’s 25th anniversary and celebrates equality through art.
“Shasta’s expressive figurative work is inspired by relationships and concepts of beauty,” Director of Exhibitions Jody Bikoff said. “She creates pieces that focus on the strong woman, using bold, contrasting colors and quick brush strokes. Her subjects have a regal quality.”
Creative Clay’s vision is to make the arts accessible to all. Since 1995, Creative Clay has pursued equality through art by helping people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational and vocational experiences.
Creative Clay’s core program is its Community Arts Program, which serves 50-60 adult artists with neuro-differences each week. Through the implementation of additional offerings, such as the inclusive Art Around the World Summer Camp, Summer Studio for older teens and young adults, Artlink employment program, Creative Care Arts in Wellness outreach program, and its Pinellas County Schools’ partnership Transition program, individuals of all ages and abilities are mentored, taught and empowered to become working artists who actively create, market and sell their work. The result is that a formerly stigmatized population, through the art it creates and sells, demystifies stereotypes surrounding those with disabilities and creates a culture of acceptance throughout the community.
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