HOBOKEN, NJ - There’s a timely new art exhibit coming to Main Street Pops’ Gallery at Pilsener Haus, and it is literally “ripped from the headlines”. 

Face Time by Barbara Shelly showcases abstract portraits that are thoughtfully inspired by current events. 

This self-taught mixed media artist creates textured collages using recent newspaper articles, sketches, ink and paint. Layered relationships to the subjects and their stories emerge in the finished work, leaving room for viewer interpretation of the portraits.

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Coming from a long line of art lovers and activists, Ms Shelly profiled her favorite subjects- people in the performing arts and politics-. “My grandmother was in the Red Army in Russia, immigrated to Philadelphia and marched as a suffragette.  My mother was a Democratic committee woman in a republican neighborhood getting doors slammed in her face.  So, some of the paintings reflect stories that have a political point….stories that are worth telling again”, Barbara explains.

Through these abstract portraits she captures her subjects’ expressions and movements, reflecting their strong emotions and keen desire for change.

During this long and difficult year, the artist’s love of painting, ballet and yoga became her mediations and allowed her to close out the world and turn within. She chose to change her color palette to happy colors such as yellows, pinks and blues. Yellow for the color of light, pink representing peace and blue for the calm of the sky.  The colored puzzles in some of the backgrounds in the series represent “the puzzling polarization of the world we're living in”, she explains.

“Barbara’s art portrays subjects that each have a unique perspective” said Main Street Pops Co-Founder, Tracy Gavant. “Our mission is to share stories and start conversations, and these portraits beautifully do just that”.

Barbara Shelly is a self-taught mixed media artist whose work has been shown in solo and group shows In Philadelphia and New York, catching the attention of subjects Spike Lee and Stella Abrera, ABT.

She is a founding member of Artist Supporting Artists and ArtSpeak Collective, as well as a Board Member of Ballet and Beyond NYC. She produced a documentary film, “Children With a Dream”, which continues to reside in the PBS Film Library and the New York Performing Arts Library.

The Opening Night Reception is on Tuesday, May 4th from 6-8pm, and the exhibit will be on display at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten in their Wintergarten Space from May 4th through June 30th.  Original art and limited edition signed prints are available for sale.

Just stop by or register online for the free opening reception on May 4th at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/152035216425.

For more information on the exhibit, go to www.mainstreetpops.com for details.

Note: Current COVID safety guidelines will be followed.

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