Shel Waldman Artist Bio
Shel Waldman, Visionary, illustrator, painter
Growing up in one of the most divergent communities in the mid-west where many languages were spoken, and many immigrants resided, Shel experienced his first cultural inspirations via the diverse and eclectic neighborhoods of East and West Rogers Park in Chicago, Illinois. It contained a fusion of races, religions and ethnic cities that celebrated their distinct cultures with festivals, foods and music, and the religious symbolism often displayed on walls and store fronts that ranged from Asian and Ethiopian to European and Middle Eastern. A true melting-pot.
"I feel very fortunate to have experienced such a eclectic cultural upbringing, and one which nurtured and passionately influenced my original art and creative ethos. Because of this, I have been able to develop a connection with all cultures and obtain a better understanding of what makes all of us different but uniquely the same. That's why I started the Warren Park Food Program in Chicago in 2012 feeding over 400+ people monthly”
Having spent later years after art school teaching and exploring Native Aboriginal people throughout Michigan and Canada, Shel began to understand their deep connection with nature and the environment,and how each of them expressed their own cultural spirit. He became inspired to paint this profound relationship and fuse these elements in his work, creating a series of powerful art that speaks to the indomitable essence of the native culture and to the spirit of art that exists within nature, while illustrating the interconnectedness of humankind with wildlife and all living things.
Born in the 1960s, a student of the American Academy of Art and Chicago Art Institute and influenced by iconic illustrators like Mark English, Berney Fuchs and Peter Max, Shel has been painting beautiful, visually stimulating art for over 30 years. His style is eclectic and genuine, and one possessing an uncanny knowledge and ability with creating and teaching art in a manner for all to enjoy.
Now living in Hawaii and on the magical, humongously beautiful Big Island, Shel continues to explore his own inner spiritual path and grow as an artist and human being while connecting with nature and the land and with lovers of visual beauty everywhere.