Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Stelluto.
Sharon, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I have always loved art even at a very young age, it felt like I came out of the womb with a pencil in my hand, creating felt innate and a necessary expression. As a kid, I would take crayons and paper with me wherever I went, fascinated by natural forms when I would walk around my yard and collect nature objects. I spent my teenage years in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had the chance to apprentice with a professional artist and figure painter, Andrew Braitman, at the age of 15 for several years. This was such a gift, as he taught me so much about art, the materials, running an art studio, photographing work and ultimately how to learn to draw and paint the figure. I also created my first oil painting under his guidance and this shaped my love and understanding of figure painting for the future. We then moved to Philadelphia where I finished high school and eventually moved to New York for college. Being able to study art in New York was a special treat with so much access to museums, galleries and artists, it was a flood of inspiration in the whirl of the city streets that shaped my art in profound and urban ways. My art was always evolving with the local environment and my level of awareness and growth at that point on my path.
I then moved to the Hudson Valley of New York to be closer to nature and finish my degree in Fine Arts, and found my work shifting into a softer and more natural approach as my spiritual path also opened and deepened. The spiritual path shaped my work over the years in many ways with a deep fascination in themes of consciousness, healing, yoga, meditation, philosophy and the deeper threads of life. My time spent in the Hudson Valley spanned over ten years and I found myself volunteering at a local visionary art retreat center called CoSM, directed by celebrity visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey. After assisting as a volunteer, they gave me the opportunity to start creating altars and floral arts for the events at the center. I always loved floral design and this creative expression was a joy. Eventually this led into developing large scale nature based art installations for their events while getting to collaborate around some of Alex’s well known pieces in the installations. I created a dozen of large installations. During this time, I was hired as Hospitality Manager and Event Coordinator at CoSM. I spent the next several years living and working at this unique art retreat center on 40 acres of land in a three story victorian mansion. I coordinated events, concerts, weddings, retreats and workshops. It was here that I had the opportunity to learn painting closely from Alex and Allyson as well as many other international artists who taught there. I also began developing as a live painter at their many events and my work evolved even more with the local landscape, spiritual path and mecca of creativity surrounding my time there.
One of the events I coordinated was the arrival of R.I.S.E. Revolution Inspired by Self Evolution, an Arizona based organization founded by Thomas Brown and Zachary Chipps, who were doing a 7,000 mile cross country bike tour from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to CoSM for suicide awareness and the healing power of art, as they had both lost their brothers to suicide many years prior. Although I had never met Thomas, we had an instant connection when he arrived at the end of his bike tour at CoSM, and a couple years later I moved here to Arizona to join him and partner in R.I.S.E.
Since then, we have also started a podcast through R.I.S.E., called Inner Monologue Podcast, based on mental health and mindfulness. We have had many Phoenix locals on the podcast to share their story of trial and triumph in life. With over 150 episodes recorded, I’ve created intuitive artworks for each episode based on the conversation and guest.
With my passion for wellness, and as a healing arts practitioner for 15 years, I opened Entelechy Visions, my healing practice now based in Old Town Scottsdale to support individuals on their path to realizing their fullest potential. My artwork and healing practice often blend as my artwork is inspired by the healing path, consciousness and the local landscape. I enjoy exhibiting my work here around the valley, painting portrait commissions as well as performing as a live painter at festivals and events nationally.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am an oil painter, illustrator, live painter and muralist. Through my work I capture the visual representations of the subtle energies of nature. Inspired by the natural world, the human form, botanical life, geological references and galactic imagery, and personal story, I infuse my work with a sense of connection to all that is and one’s healing path. Each piece reflects a reverence for nature in its many forms. With a long time fascination of the floral form, I believe that the flower is the most beautiful form in nature. It is one of the only forms that holds such beauty, color and attraction combined specifically in order to populate itself and draw to it pollinators. With the flower’s sexual organs on display, it is one of the most sensual forms in nature and ultimately exuding pure creativity and potential. This fascination has propelled much of my work to align with that pure creation focus and potential of growth and expansion.
Being a long time student of yoga and a healing practitioner for over fifteen years, I blend my work with a connection to energy awareness, intuitive inspiration, higher consciousness and the potential that lies within each individual to inspire their own truest self as a reflection of this potential and growth mirrored in nature.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I feel there are more opportunities to share work and connect to a community of artists and opportunities with the expansion of social media, however, it can also evoke a sense of separation as well. The growth of social media has also inspired a lot of screen time that consumes our daily lives. I feel it’s important to have in person connections, especially for artists as art making can be a very solitary experience. I feel balance is key and the governing of this balance in your own life is something to be mindful of as an artist and allow the interconnection of being inward for creation and also out in the world connecting to build community.
I would say it has become easier on one hand in terms of exposure, however, with the rise of the internet age, it also creates a sense of being a speck in the crowd. It can require more to stand out from the mass of information and imagery these days. Because we are inundated with so much information and imagery, a couple seconds to like an image of a new piece of artwork on social media, is weeks of dedication, work, inspiration and transformation for the artist. As we enjoy inspiration of artwork online, I think it’s important to remember how much goes into each image.
I think Phoenix has a great set up for supporting with a thriving art scene, with many galleries and independent spaces as well as organizations and communities that post about arts opportunities. I feel like Phoenix and the surrounding areas are expanding at a rapid rate and changing so much even since I moved here four years ago. The city of Phoenix still has a ways to go with growing more into a walkable and bustling city, but it’s getting there. Old Town Scottsdale could also use a hipper younger art scene to balance out the current art scene.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
In the past couple years here in Arizona, my work may have been seen at Unexpected Gallery, Warehouse 1005 Gallery, New City Studio, Arcosanti Convergence Festivals and Gem and Jam Festival as select shows. I’m currently in the creation phase but will be exhibiting more in the coming year.
You may view more of my work at www.sharonstelluto.com
Prints and Posters available in Online Shop on website
Learn more about Entelechy Visions healing practice based in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ
Learn more about RISE Phoenix at www.risephoenix.org
Listen to Inner Monologue Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or iHeart Radio or archives on our site.
- Website: www.sharonstelluto.com, www.entelechyvisions.com, www.risephoenix.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharonstellutoart/?hl=en, https://www.instagram.com/entelechyvisions/?hl=en, https://www.instagram.com/innermonologuepodcast/?hl=en
Art by Sharon Stelluto
Installation Art- Sharon Stelluto, Paintings in Installation Alex Grey