Shelly Kohli’s Biography
Shelly Kohli was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. At an early age she remembers always having a crayon, pencil, or brush in her hand. She pursued work in the art field, starting out as a technical illustrator at Martin Marietta in Orlando, FL before moving into freelance graphic design. She also worked as an art teacher/therapist for Crealde School of Art in Winter Park, FL, taking art into hospitals, nursing homes and group facilities.
Shelly’s main subject matter, Mandalas, found her about 25 years ago and have not loosened their grip on her life or her art. While attending a friend as she transitioned from this plane, Shelly was gifted with a glimpse of what she believes is the veil between this existence and the next. Beautiful, symmetrical shapes filled the room defying description. It would be years before she identified the vision as mandalas. This spiritual experience led her on what’s become a lifelong journey.
Shelly moved to the Lowcountry in 2010 and has been a prominent part of the art scene ever since. She also has created a line of jewelry from fine art images of her original paintings, turning her mandalas into wearable art. Her days are spent pursuing the realization of her vision, knowing she will never quite be able to create the “perfect” mandala, but thoroughly enjoying the journey.
Bill Mead’s Biography
When I was around 13, I discovered I had a knack for drawing and I loved to do it. I drew a lot of motorcycles and torture chambers. When I was around 15, I discovered Surrealism. Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali. I was thrilled when I saw the work of Hieronymus Bosch and decided that was the style I wanted to emulate. After high school I attended the Maryland Inst. College of the Art and studied painting and drawing. In 1977, I transferred to The Atlanta College of Art to study printmaking. It was there that I began to appreciate landscape painting, thanks to Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh. I ventured back to Beaufort, where my parents lived, and attended USCB to study Art History. I then proceeded to get a job as a carpenter. I built a home/studio on Lady’s Island in 1985 and started painting landscapes in my spare time.
One day while helping out a friend at his veggie stand, I painted a picture of a watermelon and put it by the road to show we had watermelons for sale. A lady came by and said she just loved that painting and wanted to buy it. I sold it to her. Three weeks later I couldn’t paint these pictures fast enough, seems everybody wanted one or two. So, in 2005 I quit my “real” job to become a surrealist painter. Just what I always wanted to do.