Photo by: Tim Sugden
Mark Shelton can't remember a time when he wasn't creating art and he continues to make it his life long passion. He's a modern-contemporary Native-American artist who was born and raised in Moline, Illinois. After moving to Oregon in 1984 he became interested in both Fine and Graphic Art. He earned his AAS Degree from Portland Community College, his BFA with honors from Pratt Institute in New York City and has been certified as the Honorary Chinook Tribal Artist.
Awards and Recognitions
Mark has been named as a LIFETIME MEMBER of Strathmore's Who's Who Worldwide. Acceptance is granted to individuals who have exemplified leadership and achievement in their occupation, industry or profession.
2015 - Present
Mark is currently available to appear as a paid Guest Artist via Zoom. He has been performing in-person visits, previously, to five top-ranked private schools, plus one public school in Oregon. The students range from grades 1-12. Shelton speaks about Chinook tribal history, and the fact that they are not federally recognized. He also presents several pieces of his artwork and describes the processes and techniques used to create them in a educational and entertaining way.
2020 - Highlighted by Pratt Institute Alumni on Instagram for Native-American Heritage Month in November.
2019 - Appeared in Fall/Winter Prattfolio - The Magazine of Pratt Institute.
2019 - "Passion for our First Peoples" exhibit at Flury & Company gallery in Seattle. Shelton's work was the only "living artist" represented by the gallery known to exhibit Edward Sheriff Curtis, and historic First Peoples art.
2018 - Solo show at Raven Makes Gallery in Sisters. Oregon's only brick-and-mortar First Nations gallery.
2017 - Original paintings of "Lummi Woman" and "Sitting Bull" included in the permanent collection of the Tulalip Tribal Courthouse - Tulalip, WA
2017 - Calendar cover and month of September, image of "Dream Weaver" painting for: Friends of Red Lodge - Native-American Art Project- Portland, OR
2016 - Home Page images of "Dream Weaver" and "Winter Gathering" for redlodgetransition.org- Portland, OR
2016 - Folded notecards of images "Dream Weaver" and "Winter Gathering" for Red Lodge Transition Services- Portland, OR
2016 - Calendar for the month of December using image of "Winter Gathering" for Red Lodge Transition Services- Portland, OR
2011 - About Face Magazine(interview). Launch issue of Portland's first interview magazine focusing on the arts- Portland, OR
2010 - Accepted as the only Native-American artist represented by the Wiford Gallery(rated in the top 10)galleries on Canyon Road- Santa Fe, NM
2009 - Award from the 51st Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Market- Phoenix, AZ
2009 - 88th Annual SWAIA Indian Market- Santa Fe, NM
2007 - Certified as an Honorary Chinook Tribal Artist
2006 - Portrait of my first surviving chief, Chief Gray Wolf(Cliff Snider)Chinook Nation.
1991 - BFA with Honors from Pratt Institute- Brooklyn, NY
Mark is currently involved in three series of paintings. The first includes portraits of historically significant Indian Chiefs and prominent tribal members and the second series includes large scale landscapes that vary in sizes up to 60"x48". The third series focuses on larger Native figures dominating the scene. All of the series are a result of a ten year study in colour, texture and emotional force. The paintings consist of boldly applied acrylics on canvas in conjunction with collaged papers from around the world. The goal of mark's paintings is to involve the viewer as a participant in the mood and tone that is set in his work. He hopes his paintings will leave you with a sense of reverence for native peoples who have survived many hardships but have the resolve to maintain cultural integrity for the generations that follow.