Shelby Keefe


Even as a young child, Shelby Keefe knew she was an artist. Coming from a family of artists and crafters in rural Wisconsin, she was encouraged to draw and paint and always had plenty of inspiration for making her artwork. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1981, she embarked upon a career in graphic design. Moving to Milwaukee for school opened a whole new world for her, and Shelby fell in love with the urban landscape.
Though most of her time was spent as a graphic designer and single mother of two boys, she was always passionate about painting and made time to create her work. By doing group exhibitions, art fairs, and commission work, she gradually gained the attention of enough collectors and was able to retire from graphic design in 2005 to work full-time as a fine artist. As her reputation grew, she became sought after as an instructor, teaching workshops around the country and serving as faculty for the annual Plein Air Convention and Expo.
A consistent award-winner, Shelby has participated in museum shows, top-tiered plein air painting competitions and has attained Signature Status in Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, and American Women Artists. She has galleries in the west and her native Midwest.

Exhibitions, Plein Air Competitions (selected)
2021, 2019–2012 AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST SOCIETY National Juried Exhibitions
2021–2016, Invited Artist, COWGIRL UP! Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
2021-2019, 2017 AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST SOCIETY Small Works Showcase
2021, 2019, 2018, 2016–2012, 2009, OIL PAINTERS OF AMERICA Eastern Regional Juried Exhibitions
2021, 2019–2013 AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS National Juried Exhibitions
2021–2017, 2015–2011, 2009–2007, Door County Plein Air Festival (invitational) Fish Creek, WI
2020, 2018, 2017, 2015, OIL PAINTERS OF AMERICA National Juried Exhibitions
2019, Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI Juried Exhibition
2019, 2012, Wayne Plein Air Festival, (juried competition) Wayne, PA
2018–2013 Florida’s Forgotten Coast Plein Air (invitational competition), Appalachicola, FL
2018, 2015–2012 Sedona Plein Air Festival, Sedona, AZ (invitational competition)
2017, Featured Artist, Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery, Crested Butte, CO
2017, 2016, 2010, Plein Air Easton!, (juried competition) Easton, MD
2017, 2009, Solo Show, Community Arts Center, Whitewater, WI
2017, Invited Artist, Olmsted Plein Air Invitational
2016, Invited Artist, Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational
2016, Invited Artist, Cuba Today: From Studies to Studio, McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD
2014, Crested Butte Plein Air, Crested Butte, CO, (invitational competition),
2013–2004, 2002, 2000, 1997 Lakefront Festival of Arts, Milwaukee, WI (juried art festival)
2012, Easels in Frederick, (juried plein air competition) Frederick, MD
2011, “30 Paintings/30 Days,” Gunzel Gallery, Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, Door County, WI

Awards, Accomplishments (selected)
2021, Best Historic Subject, New Bern Plein Air, New Bern, NC
2021, Best Vanishing Landscape, Gouchester Arts Festival, Glouchester, VA
2021, Honorable Mention, Door County Plein Air Festival, Door County WI
2019, Best of Show, Cedarburg Art Museum, “Night Owls” theme show, Cedarburg, WI
2019, Best Body of Work, Awarded by Western Art Collector, Cowgirl Up! Wickenburg, AZ
2018, Award of Distinction, American Impressionist Society, National Juried Exhibition
2017, Matisse Award of Excellence, Vanishing Landscape Award and Judges Choice Award,
Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, (3 awards for one painting), Atlanta GA
2017, 2016, Second Place, Lighthouse Plein Air, Jupiter, FL
2016, Distinctive Merit Award, 18th Annual Laguna Plein Air Invitational, Laguna Beach, CA
2016, First Prize-Quick Draw, Plein Air Easton!, Easton, MD
2015, Grand Prize Winner, EnPlein Air Texas, San Angelo, TX
2015, Awarded $20,000 Dorothy Dreihaus Melins Fellowship for Midwestern Artists, at Oil
Painters of America National Juried Exhibition
2019–2013 Faculty and Presenter for Annual Plein Air Convention and Expo, various locations
2015, 2014, 2013, First Place, Shorewood Plein Air Festival, Shorewood, WI
2013, Grand Prize Winner, 2nd Annual PleinAir Magazine Salon Competition, (awarded $15,000)
2012, Best Painting with an Architectural Subject, Easels in Frederick, Frederick, MD
2012, Best of Show and PleinAir Magazine Award, Wayne Plein Air Festival, Wayne PA
2010, Poster Artist, Lakefront Festival of Arts, Milwaukee, WI
2010, Featured Artist, “Channel 10 Great TV Auction”, Milwaukee, WI

2021, “Elements” section, PleinAir Magazine, feature piece on principles of perspective, Feb/March issue
2020, Women in Plein Air, PleinAir Magazine, feature piece on 7 women artists, April/May issue
2015, Cover and Featured artist, SouthwestArt magazine, March issue
2015, Featured in “Three to Watch” Fine Art Connoisseur, June issue
2013, Cover and Featured artist, PleinAir Magazine, September issue
2012, Artist Spotlight, PleinAir Magazine, November issue
Gallery Representation
Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Fine Line Designs Gallery, Door County, WI
Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery, Crested Butte, CO
Turquoise Door Gallery, Telluride, CO

American Impressionist Society, Signature Member
Oil Painters of America, Signature Member
American Woman Artists, Signature Member
Past Board Member, Charles Allis/Villa Terrace Museums, Milwaukee, WI
–Curatorial Committee Chairperson

Artwork to be Showcased