Main Medium: Ceramics
Gallery Pieces: Glass Sculpture
After meeting Maccabee Shelley the first word that comes to my mind when I think of him is joy. I feel like this is what his art brings to him. My first encounter with him was when he spoke to the class the Tuesday before the day of the interviews. He was obviously not used to speaking in front of large groups so he didn’t intrigue me as much. However, when I actually got the chance to speak to him and see him interact with his art, he was much more passionate and talkative. During the actual class it was hard to get a one on one conversation with him. As I was listening to him talk to the group he mentioned that he would be available later on to take a few people around the ceramics studio on campus later on. I decided that this would work better for me so I left class and came back later since I also did a lot of work with ceramics in high school, so going on this tour would be a bonus for me as I would not only get my conversation done, but also get to see a college level art studio.
I came back about half an hour later and waited for him to finish his conversation with the last few students left. I walked up to him and asked him about the tour thinking I would need to meet up with him later in the day, but surprisingly he took me and a friend I brought a long right away. He ended up bringing us everywhere from his own personal studio in the ceramics building to all the facilities open to the students and guest artists on campus. I was fairly involved in the art program in my high school so I had heard a lot about college level art facilities, but only heard never seen. So being in the building was like being in a comic convention. I wanted to see and touch everything! It was exactly how my art teacher had described it; the organized messes of super right brained artists, relaxed atmosphere, and all.
Along the tour we asked him questions about his work at CSULB and his gallery. He mainly works with ceramics, but had recently observed several artists working with glass in the studio and was immediately intrigued. Next thing he knew he was dedicating a good amount of time to it and decided to make a full gallery collection of sculptures. Before he became an artist he was going to school to study chemistry and that his works with ceramics and glass greatly benefit from it. His knowledge of chemical substances and their reactions helped him understand how to work his medium better and understand why certain things in his pieces occurred. It was interesting to hear how these two interests of his melded so well together and his interest ceramics made even more sense.
Maccabee’s passion for his art is pretty inspiring. Although this sounds cliché it’s true. Many artists only get to interact with the public as a whole, and often times seem too “eccentric” or “conceited” for the common person. My intimate conversation with Maccabee revealed how normal these people really are. They just have a passion for art that most other people don’t have, and I can feel my appreciation for art growing even more.