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By ALAINA BARTEL
Daily News Staff Writer
Shelley Baumeister has self-proclaimed herself as monotone and flat, but her first solo exhibit “Scarlet Letters” at the Main Street Gallery is anything but that.
Her 24-piece exhibit, which opened Friday and will run through Sept. 29, explores the world of emotions and femininity through portraits of women. Baumeister’s paintings show vibrant colors and portray qualities such as pride, self-love and sorrow.
“Each painting is kind of an emotion or a feeling,” Baumeister said. “The titles help explain the emotion I was feeling at the time that I painted.”
The titles do indeed seem to give a glimpse into what she was going through. Her latest piece is called: “Get the bleep off of my mental property.”
“It’s kind of like people stampeding on your personal life where they don’t belong. Just like, get out of there, it’s my space, let me deal with it. If I needed your help I would have asked you,” she explained. “I’m a Cancer — Cancers are notoriously very emotional and moody. In order to get that out, I paint.”
Baumeister hopes people are able to look at her art, read the titles and apply it to their own lives to create a personal connection with her exhibit.
At 2 p.m. Saturday at the Main Street Gallery, she will be hosting a workshop on her artistic process. Since her art is known for its color, she will be bringing her own acrylic paint and teaching people how to measure faces for portraits and how to create a piece at an affordable price.
“I like to use really cheap materials, so my paint is from WalMart, like I buy the cheap little paints and I find old magazines and use magazine clippings or found objects,” she said.
The workshop, which will run about two hours, is free to attend and canvases will be provided. Baumeister will also answer questions about her paintings and talk more about the inspiration behind it all, before attendees are able to create a portrait of their own.
Baumeister graduated high school in 2003 from the Lecanto School of Art in Florida and has been heavily involved with art since elementary school. She’s dabbled with ceramics, mixed media and drawing, in addition to painting.
After high school, she started college at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but later decided to go to culinary school. She worked as a chef for eight years in places like the Adirondacks, Martha’s Vineyard and St. Pete Beach in Florida.
When she moved to Ketchikan in 2013, she worked as the operations manager at the Ketchikan Arts and Humanities Council for two years and later worked as a certified nursing assistant at PeaceHealth.
This past January, she relocated to Anchorage to pursue her nursing education at the University of Alaska Anchorage and now works at Providence Hospital in the mother-baby and pre-natal units. She hopes to become a nurse-midwife after school.