With gallery leadership and an MFA in photography, Shelby Graham recently retired after serving as Director/Curator of the Sesnon Art Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1999-2021. She is delighted to be back in the studio and participating in art symposiums, exhibitions, residencies, teaching, and freelance curatorial projects. Graham has collaborated on interdisciplinary projects with the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, CA; the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Gallery Ef in Tokyo, Japan; galleries in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; and the Craft Contemporary Museum in Los Angeles, CA. She has taught courses in photography, contemporary art, museum practices at the University of California, Santa Cruz; San José State University; Cabrillo Community College, CA; Hartnell College, CA, and Seinan Gakuin University in Kyushu, Japan. She is currently teaching a new grant-funded course called, Careers in the Creative Economy at UC Santa Cruz.
As an exhibiting artist, Graham is transitioning back into her creative practice of alternative processes photography, taking risks. and pushing boundaries. Her work has been published in Photographic Possibilities book and Catamaran magazine and other publications. Graham has had solo and group exhibitions in the United States from California to Philadelphia and international exhibitions in Japan and the Czech Republic. She was on the Board of Trustees at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel. She received her MFA in 1990 from San José State University, and continues to explore innovative curatorial practice and photographic installations in her own work.
Graham is a guest curator for the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, where she recently curated an exhibition on Raymond Saunders and is currently researching an exhibition on Richard Mayhew.