lives in Santa Fe, NM
born in Houston, TX
danielleshelley.com | @danielleshelleystudio
A handful of years ago, Danielle Shelley had to give up what she loved to do for more than two decades. A series of health challenges meant that she couldn’t stand and paint all day, so she turned to fiber arts, a medium that she loved as a kid while helping her mom in her professional weaving studio. She started with bead embroidery, teaching herself Native American techniques and creating eye-catching geometric abstractions that looked like her oil paintings. By the time her health problems cleared up, she fell head over heels for textiles and ditched painting.
Shelley, who earned critical acclaim as a painter, has found similar success as a textile wizard, thanks to work such as her Black Lines series, which showcases Shelley’s remarkable cross stitching on linen that depicts geometric patterns in muted Rubik’s cube–type colors. In 2018, she received the “Modern Meets Traditional” award from Surface Design Journal, a formidable contemporary fiber arts quarterly.
The Houston-born Shelley, who lives near Santa Fe, is also a founding member of the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, a collective of six northern New Mexico women artists who Shelley says have an aesthetic relationship to minimalism and often exhibit together.
“My artistic concerns didn’t change when I morphed from a painter into a fiber artist,” writes Shelley in her artist statement. “I am still a passionate colorist, in love with shapes and lines. But I also find satisfaction in being part of the movement that has reclaimed stitch work, a long-dismissed women’s medium.”