Susan Shipley: Swirling Color, Striving Soul

Opening reception: Sunday, April 10th @ 12:00PM

“Swirling Color, Striving Soul” will feature landscapes and abstract paintings by Roxborough resident Susan Shipley, along with artwork in various media and styles by members of the Manayunk-Roxborough Artists’ Co-Op. The reception includes an art demonstration and participation for children, light refreshments, and a raffle of an original artwork by a Co-Op member. Also on April 10th, at 3:00 P.M., MRAC’s Humanities Program presents a poetry reading featuring Bill Wunder and Bernadette McBride,  Poetry Editors of Schuylkill Valley Journal (SVJ), and David P. Kozinski, SVJ Online’s Art Editor.

Susan Shipley’s acrylic painting, “Firing”, is an explosion of primary colors, with hints of violet and orange adding subtlety. Shipley has written that the painting and its title, “might be interpreted as suggesting that the process of creating art begins when the brain is stimulated by external or internal events, i.e., when a series of synapses fire at neurons. This is only partially true. The creative experience happens on a moral or metaphysical plane. Internal stimuli begin within the artist’s soul, while examples of external stimuli include the artist’s reaction to social injustices or environmental devastation.” Shipley’s oil painting, “Raging Winds” also employs an intense color palette. Although abstract, the swirling shape that occupies the work’s center strongly suggests what its title denotes. “Waiting for Time” offers an impression of a path in the foreground that disappears into an abstract “forest” of yellow, green and brown. 

The artist, who began painting as a child, has continued this communion between brush and canvas, and various other media, throughout her life and career. Shipley attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, received a BA from Notre Dame College of Ohio, attended Ursuline College’s Art Therapy master’s program, and earned a PhD in counseling psychology from Kent State University in 1999. She continues her art education at the Fleisher Art Memorial. As a practicing psychologist, who retired from the Philadelphia School District, Shipley has also used art therapy with students, in-patients, and the criminally insane. For her, art and therapy are intertwined. Not only does art heal, it also reveals.

In addition to being a member of the Manayunk-Roxborough Artists’ Co-Op, Shipley is part of the Northwest Artists’ Collective (NAC), the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and The Plastic Club. She has won prizes in the 2015 MRAC Juried Show, at the Fleisher Art Memorialand in competitions in Ohio in the 1970s. She has participated in many group, solo, local and national shows. Shipley currently works as an independent Clinical Psychologist.

Additional exhibit dates are April 16, 17, 23, 24. Gallery hours at MRAC are Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Admission is free, donations are encouraged. For more information, see on the Web or call 215-482-3363. MRAC is a non-profit arts organization, supported in part by a grant from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.