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Career Highlights

"Barn Dance"


Absolut Vodka  Absolut Shelley Advertisement,
appeared in County Home Magazine, April 1990
The piece is in the Absolut Vodka Collection, NYC.
Its image is in the Absolut Book, author Richard Lewis.


"Sullivan's Diner IV, Waiter Holding Fried Eggs"


Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the permanent collection of Fenimore Art Museum,
New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY

In 1999 the New York State Historical Association celebrated its centenary with a show of works
from its permanent collection, one of which was the "Sullivan's Diner IV, Waiter Holding Fried Eggs"
piece. A New York Times art review of the show said this:

"If much of the 20th-century work in the show is fanciful, it also touches on real life in all its bumptious oddity and warmth. Such is the case with the painted relief 'Sullivan's Diner IV' (1989) by Mary Michael Shelley, 49, an artist from Ithaca, N.Y., who has a degree in English from Cornell and is a practicing social worker.

"The piece, which conjures up 19th century shop signs and the
sculptures of the contemporary artist Red Grooms, depicts the interior of a local restaurant that
Ms. Shelley frequents. She chose the subject, she says, because restaurants are places 'where people, isolated during the rest of their day, could come together just to 'be' and feel a sense of instant belonging.' " - Holland Cotter, July 15, 1999.

Here is the full New York Times article from which the above quote was taken.


"Sullivan's Diner Five, Waitress and Waiter at End of Day"

Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women and the Arts,
Washington, D.C..


Coca Cola Bottle with Artist.


Commissioned by Coca Cola for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,
for their "Coke Art Folk Art" show at the 1996 Olympics.
Currently the piece is located on public display in the lobby of the
World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga.


"Cows, Chicken and Horse at Dawes Hill Farm"


Image from show announcement. In the Permanent collection of the American Museum of Folk Art.

[An artist] “has to develop a consistent vocabulary of form, an individualistic
expressive lexicon…When you see the work, you just know it has to be the work
of that artist. Certainly that is true of her [Mary Shelley’s] work.
No one else does work anything like Mary Shelley’s.” 

-Gerard C. Wertkin, then director of the American Museum of Folk Art, New York City.
quoted in a

Syracuse Herald American AP article (July 7, 1996).


"Cow and Daffodil Buds"
in the permanent collection of the High Museum, T. Marshall Hahn Collection, Atlanta, Ga..


"Cows and Falling Down Barn, Snow."


Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-taught and Outsider Art.
"Mary's works are some of my favorite pieces in a collection of
more than 600 artworks. And they are among the most enjoyed
by visitors to my collection." - Anthony Petullo


"Edgemere Diner, Cups, Spoons and Forks"


Also in the Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-taught and Outsider Art.


"Americans on the Move, Throw the Dog a Bone."

This piece (pictured on the original show postcard invitation) is in the collection of The American Museum in Britain, John Judkin Memorial, Bath, England.




Carved and Painted "Welcome to Ithaca" Sign located in the Tompkins County Airport. Three Feet by eight feet. Public commission.


"Clinton House Renovation, Ithaca, NY"
In the Collection of  Historic Ithaca.


Grainy screenshot photo of an online auction catalog showing a farm piece that was owned by Carrie Fisher
and sold at auction upon her death.

The catalogue description reads "[Item] 1154. Dairy farm folk art relief carving. Wood relief carving depicting farmers and cows in a barn on a dairy farm. Hand painted and signed and dated at center, ‘M. Shelley 87’. Measures 16.25 x 14 x 1.25 in. Some weathering and wear.” Unfortunately this piece was hung on a tree exposed to the weather for part of its lifetime while in Carrie Fisher’s possession. These are conditions that acrylic artist paints cannot survive for more than a few years.