Shelby Peterson is a Wisconsin native with a zeal for getting her artwork seen. With recent works displayed around campus and in downtown Appleton, it would be valuable for any Lawrentian to get the inside story on this up-and-coming Lawrence artist.Where are you from and what is your major? I grew up on a farm in Osceola, Wis., and I am an art major. How long have you been creating art? I’ve been doodling ever since I was little; my sister was the writer, and I was the “drawer.” I was even on my high school’s Art Team for a year. When did you decide to pursue art as a career? I’ve always known I would always make art in some capacity, but it was around the end of my freshman year here that I realized art was too important to me to be just a hobby. What kind of work do you do? I stick to two-dimensional work, mostly drawing, photography, and digital art. Are there any artists that have been particularly inspirational to you? Julie Margaret Cameron, Robert Frank, William Kentridge, Marcel Duchamp. Why is art important, to you and to everyone else? Art is important to me because it is my way of affecting the world around me. Sometimes I want people to think about their views of the world, sometimes I want people to remember their past through my past, and sometimes I just want to show people something beautiful. Art should be important to others because it is another way to look at the world. It can reveal things that were hidden and expose all sorts of new truths, truths that are too difficult to say in words or music or any other form of expression. Can you tell us about your most recent shows? I have some photographs up at the Appleton Art Center in their show, “All Dressed Up: Clothing as Identity.” I recently installed another series of photos in Sampson House, and I have a show in the Mudd Gallery, “My Monochrome Life,” which features a series of digitally altered family snapshots. What are your plans for the future? Right now, I am just planning on finding a job, apartment and studio space. Once I am settled, I will make as much art as I can and seek opportunities to show it.
Photos from Peterson’s “My Monochrome Life” currently on display in the Mudd Gallery (Shelby Peterson)