In a society that emphasizes convenience, a sense of entitlement and a near-complete reliance on digital technologies, I am interested in the art of thoughtful observation and celebration of tactile experiences within a particular space. I draw much of my inspiration from natural forms and complex microcosms. Working with wax, cloth, metal, dried plant matter, old books, found objects and mixed media, I recontextualize materials into installations, sculptures and wall hangings and invite viewers to engage the physicality of the work before them.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1983, Shannon Newby received a BA in education and art from Taylor University in 2006 and a Masters in theology and community arts from Regent College in 2012. Shannon is currently enjoying working from her studio in her Raleigh home, collaborating on creative projects with her husband Erik, and working part time at Sertoma Arts Center as an art instructor and recreation leader.
Originally from Indianapolis, Shannon always wanted to be an artist "when she grew up" and her parents encouraged her art-making. "My favorite Christmas gift growing up was a set of Bob Ross oil paints," she reflects, sitting at her kitchen table. "I went through a season where I stapled or nailed everything to the wall. I'd change it weekly as inspiration hit. One day it'd be southern paraphernalia strapped to the wall—the next, the parts of my disassembled bike. My first installation pieces, you could say! Even in elementary school, I was working to incorporate different elements into my art." Back in Shannon's kitchen I discover that encaustic art wasn't her first choice. As a child, she dreamed of animating twenty-first century sleeping beauties for Disney; as a teenager she'd planned on a career in interior design. It wasn't until 2006 that she arrived at the hot wax appliqués of encaustic art. "I think I was pretty much sold on day one when I learned you had to use a heat gun or blow-torch to fuse the wax. My blow-torch and I have been inseparable ever since."