We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Keller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, why did you pursue a creative career?
Somewhere between middle school and high school I found art. Not just that I enjoyed making things and dressing like an artist ( which I fully and completely owned), but the colossally transformative impact that art can have on a society, a group and an individual. It hit me all at once and I was forever under its spell. Creating art is a primal behavior. Art communicates, art heals, art tells our stories and art provides shared experiences (specifically music, dance, film etc). I don’t think it was much of a decision of mine to pursue but it was a long and meandering road to get to teaching. I am a teaching artist. I teach art to young people and it is a highly rewarding endeavor. It is rewarding in the way most would assume, by demonstrating an approach or a technique and having the students nail it or by breathing their own life into a skeleton of a project, watching the problem solving while witnessing and encouraging growth. But, what I intend to provide above the product, is a glimpse of that transformative possibility. If I can open eyes to that and allow my students to witness as well as join in, I feel that is my objective.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been fascinated with anatomy. When I was young we had a set of encyclopedias and I would regularly have the H out opened to HUMAN BODY. The glassine page overlays revealed all the intricately beautiful inner workings of us- with the skeleton, the organs, the systems and the muscles. I still think about those pages among some of my very favorite things. In college, I spent hours on end in the library looking at antique medical illustrations and all their permutations of what was perceived inside. To this day I search for anatomy books at thrift shops, hoping for some out of print treasure. My drawings are delicate reworkings; inlaying other anatomies, cross colonizing and hydridding these insides to form visual poems. I select and craft my imagery with metaphor to strengthen the poetry, recreating and redefining what is inside of us and allowing it to shine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would go for a skate on the LA river *(I love to rollerskate and am a derby doll!) stop at Spoke on the river for a coffee, maybe check out left bank shop and other area thrift shops. I have gotten really into walking and there are some good hills in Mt Washington that I like to walk and look for wildlife. Maybe check out some local live music at zebulon or permanent records but for the most part we would chill at my house with drinks and board games.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to recognize my family for always providing encouragement and support through my artistic endeavours
Facebook: Shannon Keller