Laurel Shackelford

Artist's statement

Curiosity courses through my veins. Throughout life I've been asking questions aimed at deepening my understanding of the world around me. This quest propelled my career as a newspaper writer and editor in Washington, D.C., Kentucky and California. Eventually I gravitated toward opinion pages, where I inflicted views on readers through editorials and a column.

Meanwhile another rich learning experience unfolded at home over the dining room table I share with Donald R. Anderson, a fine arts photographer and teacher. Night after night, year after year, I plied him with variations on this question: How and why does art get made?

By 2004 I burned to make art and left journalism to make sculpture.

Much of my sculpture explores the cataclysmic changes in American women's lives from 1960 to the present. I typically use steel mesh to visually render difficult experiences, because it maintains strength and integrity while undergoing stress, thereby functioning as a metaphor for the resilience required of women who navigated this tumultuous period.
By using traditional needlework techniques - sewing, crochet and knitting - to coax wood and metal into visual metaphors, I honor the needlework tradition and participate in its 21st Century reinvention.


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC., BA Journalism

Harvard, Cambridge, MA., Nieman Fellowship for mid-career journalists

College of Marin, Kentfield, CA., Fiber Sculpture

Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA.,Sculpture, Metal Sculpture, Wood Sculpture

Work History and Selected Publications

Writer and editor at newspapers in Louisville, KY and Monterey, CA

Publications in  The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and several anthologies

Our Appalachia: An oral history "Co-editor. Published by Hill & Wang,
reprinted by University Press of Kentucky

Selected Art Exhibitions

Arfully Reclaimed, Marin MOCA, Novato, CA
    Jack Fischer, Juror, College of the Sequoias/Arts Visalia Gallery, CA
    Kevin Bowman, Juror
Discarded to Divine preview, de Young Museum, San Francisco

Modified, Art Ark Gallery, San Jose, CA
    Nancy Sevier, Juror
Intersections 5: colors_concepts_contours, Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco, CA
    Richard Elliott, Juror
Endangered Species, Laney College Art Gallery, Oakland, CA
    Andree Thompson, Juror

Dualities, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA
    Claudia Chapline, Juror
Soft Show, Art Foundry Gallery, Sacramento, CA
    Susan Z’berg, Juror

Intersections 4, Herbst International Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, CA
DISH CafÈ, San Francisco, CA

Ladies Who Lunch, Grand Avenue Artworks, Pacific Grove, CA
    Charlsie Kelly, Juror
Recycle Art Exhibit, Nido, Moss Landing, CA
    Gretchen Werner, Juror

Miniatures, Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey CA
Constants & Variables, Surface Design Association Exhibit, Kansas City, MO
Taking Flight, Surface Design Association Fashion Show, Kansas City, MO
    Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Curator


fiber Dimensions
Surface Design Association
Textile Arts Council