Week 9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley


This week at the SOA Galleries I got the pleasure of viewing some art by artist Maccabee Shelley. He grew up in Los Angeles then moved to San Francisco and then moved again to Humboldt where he graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.A. in Studio Art and a minor in Art History. Maccabee began creating ceramic pieces about 8 or 9 years ago but chose to pursue art as a lifestyle about 5 years ago.


Maccabee’s pieces were made from glass, ceramics, and other found materials. It didn’t really seem like there was a certain plan of how he wanted things to be put together. It was more of abstract pieces. However, I picked up on the theme of the environment, keepingit clean. A lot of the items used in each piece were similarto items found on a beach. He explained how he usually doesn’t just make one piece. He makes about 5 different ones and then decides which one he wants to showcase.


Maccabee’s inspiration for his gallery comes from his previous work. He called it a “snowball effect.” After he creates one thing it brings up an idea for another creation and the cycle continues. Maccabee doesn’t think of his show as just a couple of art pieces being displayed but rather as a “torrent of water that’s just flowing.” He’s scooping up pieces of said water and showing it to us. He also added,  ” This is just a rest stop, like on a really big trip…” There is no strict vision for his work. It’s like a big game for him. He just wants to try new things until he finds an outcome that best matches his aesthetic.


Maccabee Shelley was a very eccentric artist and I do not relate to that. It was interesting finding out that he had no prior intentions of becoming an artist. Similarly, I had no prior intentions of becoming a filmmaker. I really enjoyed seeing various, every day items put together to convey a different meaning. I enjoyed his art show and hope to view much more art made by Maccabee Shelley.


Check out Maccabee Shelley’s art on his website: www.maccabeeshelley.com


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