Caitlyn Shea studied painting at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating in 2011 from Adelphi University with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. Upon graduating, she received a Senior Thesis Merit Award and an A. Conger Goodyear Award for Outstanding Achievement. Her paintings explore both figurative and abstract representations of humans and animals by experimenting with the tactile relationship of acrylic paint, charcoal, and spray paint. While her palette explores upbeat color interactions, the loosely drawn, often chaotic figures leave a lasting impression of the sublime. Drawing upon influences such as Francis Bacon and Willem de Kooning, Shea brings a fresh, feminine perspective to a typically masculine approach to painting. In her recent works she combines the ferocious, impromptu spirit of street art with the inherently thoughtful nature of fine art.
Shea has been creating public artworks in order to revitalize and celebrate communities through creative placemaking. In 2014 she organized, fundraised for, and created a 1,300 square foot mural depicting hummingbirds in downtown Riverhead, N.Y. In 2015, the mural was slated to be taken down, however the Riverhead community came together to save the mural for years to come. Shea continues to exhibit her work in galleries and has recieved multiple stipends to create public works that bring moments of wonder in N.Y. and beyond.