The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts announces Shelby Fleming as the Artist Award winner for 2023.
The annual Artist Award may be used for research, travel, training, studio time, or equipment and supplies. The purpose of the award is to assist an accomplished woman artist to realize her vision and help to make her achievements more visible to the art community and the public.
Shelby Fleming is a sculptor and performance artist working in Fayetteville Ark. She intends to use this award toward materials, equipment, and renting a larger studio space to expand the next phase of her most recent project, Gut Feeling: Phase 2.
“The body is the center of my artistic practice,” Fleming said. “Whether it is abstract or representational, my work revolves around the body’s fragility and resilience as it faces internal, external, or psychological factors. My installations approach from a larger perspective as I account for the viewer’s body and viewing experience in relation to the space.”
A native of Collinsville, Ill., Fleming moved to Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas School of Art to pursue a Master of Fine Arts. Fleming found herself enthralled with the beauty and growth of the Northwest Arkansas area, and upon graduating in 2020, she became a permanent resident.
Although Fleming has completed many residences and training programs, she found her time at UA to be the most impactful, stating that the abundance of funding allowed for “opportunities I thought would never be possible in my lifetime. It has made me see the art world more as a whole instead of an abstract concept.”