Born in 1945, Elizabeth Montgomery Shelton is a native of Houston, Texas and has been a sculptor and painter since early childhood. Through her art, she has spent life reflecting and interpreting the world. She captures the strength and sensuality of all women – especially women of color. Her bronze renditions of children remarkably eternalize their innocence and tender spirit. Throughout her works, you will find the use of African symbolism as a foundation to build on her Creole and African-American heritage. Her resulting works are vivid and energizing in their approach.
Shelton is a graduate of Texas Southern University, where she had the opportunity to study under two of the world's finest artists - the famous muralist and artist, Dr. John Biggers and Mr. Carroll Harris Simms, a renowned abstract sculptor. Carrol Simms was first to recognize her ability as a sculptor and encouraged her to do a terracotta sculpture of a mother and child. A photograph of the terracotta sculpture was used for the cover of the Christmas cards for Texas Southern University during the 1980s. Additionally, the same terracotta sculpture is listed and shown in a book written by Dr. John Biggers - Black Art in Houston. The Mother and Child sculpture (along with one of her other terracotta sculptures) is displayed as part of the permanent art collection in the University Museum on the campus of Texas Southern University, in Houston.
After her completion of study at Texas Southern University in 1970, Shelton studied in Paris with Martin Vaugel, an international sculptor. As a result of this international exposure, her work developed into a more powerful expression of real and abstract figures in bronze. For over thirty years, Shelton worked as an arts educator in the Houston Independent School District at Robert E. Lee Senior High School, from 1970 until 2006.
Throughout her career, Shelton has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the state of Texas. Shelton’s awards include: 1990 NASA Plaque Award, “Outstanding Black Texas Artist,” 1996 Who’s Who among American Teachers (Art), and 1970 Juried show “Merit Award” with Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) – Houston, Texas. In 1969, she had a public installation at the University Museum in Texas Southern University, 1970 was when she installed another work at Mural at Golden State Insurance – Houston, Texas; and a metal work of art at the Abstract Fabrication (outside) at South Park Avenue – Houston, Texas. Additionally, in 2000, Shelton was commissioned to do The Mountaintop Award, a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, for the Black Heritage Society. The Mountaintop Award has been given to Rosa Parks, Mrs. Coretta Scott King and Nelson Mandela. In addition, she created another Mountaintop Award for Sheila Jackson Lee.
Her vision for the future is vast and her goal is to leave a mark on the world in bronze—in figurative, contemporary sculpture. Like her mentors at TSU, Shelton has spent a lifetime inspiring future generations of artists through her work as an educator and artist.
Biographical and Career Highlights
•1945 Born in Houston, TX
• 1970Graduated with a B.A. in Art Education from Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
• 1970-2006 Taught Art at Robert E. Lee Senior High School in Houston Independent School District
• 2006Retired from teaching in Houston Independent School District after 36 years
• Currently resides in Houston, TX
• 2017-18 Homecoming: The 8th Biannual Art Alumni Exhibition, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX.
• 2017Print & Plates: A Selection of Matrices, group show, curated by Sally Reynolds, Arts Brookfield, Houston, TX.
• 2017Solo Exhibition, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Houston, TX
• 2017On My Journey: The Legacy of John Biggers, curated by Sally Reynolds, Arts Brookfield, Houston, TX.
• 2015-16 Homecoming: The Seventh Biennial Art Alumni Exhibition, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX.
• 2015 The 18th Citywide African American Artists Exhibition, curated by Dr. Sarah A. Trotty, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX.
• 2015 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX
• 2014Circle of Six: Selected Works by TSU Alumni, a group exhibition, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
• 2013 Homecoming: The Sixth Biennial Art Alumni Exhibition, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
• 2012One Woman Show, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, TX
• 20037th Annual Citywide African-American Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
• 2002 5A Gala Auction, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
• 20015th Annual Citywide African-American Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
• 200016th Annual Gala, African American Museum, Dallas, TX
• 2000City Hall Annex, Houston, TX
• 2000One Woman Show, Houston, TX
• 2000Rice University, Houston, TX
• 2000Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
• 1999Youngman Branch Library, Houston, TX
• 1998Citywide African American Exhibition, Houston, TX
• 1998Community Artist Group (Armon Bayou), Houston, TX
• 19971st Annual Citywide African-American Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
• 1990Art Expo 90, Sugarland, TX
• 1980Art League of Houston, Houston, TX
• 1977International Women’s Year National Conference, Houston, TX
• 1976One Woman Show, Adept New American Folk Center, Houston, TX
• 1975Community Artist Gallery, Houston, TX
• 1971College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX
• 1970One Woman Show, Community Artist Group (The Pavilion), Houston, TX
• 1970Albert Thomas Convention Center, Houston, TX
• 1970Links Society Art Show, Ft. Worth, TX
• 1970Sculpture and Ceramic Show, San Antonio, TX
• 1970Texas City Lighting and Power, Texas City, TX