Kelley graduated with an Art major from Hillsdale College and began her career teaching Art in an Elementary School. She then began painting commissions and murals. After a move across the country, Kelley entered the world of publishing as an illustrator and designer at a publishing company in Colorado. Upon returning to Michigan she has continued to freelance as an illustrator and graphic designer, while working to grow as a painter.
Kelley was introduced to Plein Air painting during study abroad trips in Italy and France. These opportunities allowed her to learn to work quickly and decisively and to take great joy in painting in nature and in the public eye. Her current favorite medium is oil, and her favorite place to paint, thus far, is in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Kelley lives in south central Michigan with her husband and three young daughters.
Shows and Awards
American Impressionist Society 2021 Associate Member Online Juried Exhibition, April-June 2021
First Place, ART634 En Plein Air Exhibition, October 2019, Jackson, MI
Jackson Civic Art Association Juried Show, Potter Center, September 2019, Jackson, MI
Jackson Civic Art Association Juried Show, Carnegie Library, August 2019, Jackson, MI
Juried-Professional Artist, Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival, August 2019, Dexter, MI
Bienniel Exhibition, Ella Sharp Museum, February 2018, Jackson, MI
Jackson Civic Art Association Juried Show, Potter Center, September 2018, Jackson, MI
Second Place, ART634 En Plein Air Exhibition, September 2018, Jackson, MI
First Place, Emerging Artist Category, Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival, August 2018, Dexter, MI
Best of Show, Jackson Civic Art Association, August 2018, Jackson, MI
Hillsdale College Alumni Show, Hillsdale College, October 2017, Hillsdale, MI
Kelley Shirkey, Solo Show, ART634, June 2015, Jackson, MI
Under the Lakes Show, ART634, April 2007, Jackson, MI