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international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Sheldon Tapley
Danville, Kentucky

Centre College, Stodghill Professor of Art

detail image


This drawing was originally intended to be a study for an oil painting, but it became an independent work in itself. (The painting that evolved from this drawing is larger; it is now at an exhibition in the Evansville Museum, in Indiana, where I was once Artist-in-Residence.) The house of cards at the heart of the still life is held together with hot glue and masking tape: sloppy expedients that postpone its proverbial, inevitable, destruction. It was set up in my studio for more than a year. Card houses, and card games, have long been symbols of the vanity of human effort. Most famously, Chardin painted them. His paintings of youths building card structures have hovered in my imagination for years. Frederick Church's magnificent painting of Cotopaxi erupting is reproduced in the poster behind the young woman. I have borrowed that many times, inserting it into any quiet interior scene that needs drama. The cat, Inky, was once a family pet, less prescient in life than he appears in this little memorial.





born: 1959, Maracaibo, Venezuela


University of Nebraska-LIncoln, MFA, 1983
Grinnell College, BA Art, 1980

selected awards/honors

Stodghill Professorship, Endowed Chair; Centre College;2005 to present
Martha & Merrit deJong Memorial Artist-in-Residence; Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science; Indiana, 2004
Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council, 1998
International Painting Annual 1, Third Prize, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio 2011

selected publications

The Artist's Magazine, "Master of the Not-So-Still-Life", by Daniel Brown. Feature article in print, with web supplement. May 2012. Re-published online in June, in; noted and linked in Painter's Table, a national art blog.
International Painting Annual, Volume 3. A juried exhibition in print; published by Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio. 2013.
Visions: Selections From the James T. Dyke Collection of Contemporary Drawings, illustrated catalog with essay by Townsend Wolfe. Published by Arkansas Art Center & Naples Museum of Art. 2007
Sheldon Tapley, essay by John Streetman, Director, The Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science, in a catalog published by the museum to accompany a solo exhibition of the same title.  April 2004

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Center For Contemporary Art, Sacramento; "Sheldon Tapley/Robert Schwartz", Sacramento, California, 2008
Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science; "Sheldon Tapley"; 2004
Tatistcheff Gallery; "Sheldon Tapley", New York, New York, 2002
Tatistcheff Gallery; "Sheldon Tapley: Recent Pastels", New York, New York, 1998

selected group shows

Artist in Residence: 20 Years of Collaboration; Evansville Museum, Evansnville, Indiana, 2014
Fast Forward to the Renaissance; Southern Ohio Museum, Portsmouth, Ohio 2013
National Contemporary Realism 2013; M. A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2013
Beyond the Still Life; Cincinnati Art Galleries, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2012

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