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David Sheldon Welding1.jpg

David Sheldon lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina. A multi-disciplined artist, his work has evolved over the years as both a painter and a sculptor.


Sheldon received a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. His time at RISD included a formative year spent painting in Rome, Italy, as part of RISD’s European Honors Program. As a grad student, he brought sculpture into the mix. His thesis show for his MFA in 1990 at the University of Maryland incorporated large-scale, mixed-media paintings, as well as sculptural works. Mentors included internationally acclaimed sculptor, Anne Truitt, and monumental sculptor James Sanborn. Sheldon worked as an assistant to Sanborn on 'Kryptos' , installed at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, 1990. Sheldon continues to create cutting-edge sculptural works in metal, as well as provocative public art. Modernist sculpture, with its emphasis on the dynamics of form and space, continues to be a major influence in his work.

The inner-cosmos of the Subconscious is always available for human exploration and understanding. Each human-being is akin to a crucible containing various mixtures of ingredients within themselves. With the right ‘fire’ applied, humans have the potential of fusing and achieving transformation, wholeness. Sheldon’s painting and sculptural works are a means of exploring and expressing this possibility.


Sheldon's new figurative-abstracts are a return to an approach started over thirty years ago. He paints them while attempting to be in a 'fully connected' state. Meaning:  working with 'inner-attention' in his body as he paints. He divides his inner-attention between his mind, body, and 'emotional center'. This inner work with attention calls forth a 'heightened state' within him. Sheldon allows the intelligence of his emotional center to 'lead the charge', relying on it to guide his thoughts and body as he works. He prefers to work large, as this invites him to bring his whole body into the metaphysical event: the act of painting. Spiritual, psychological, it becomes an exploration into the Subconscious: brutal, beautiful, ferocious, and mysterious...a cry into the Void, bringing forth beings, half-beings, different dimensions and states of being. The key is remaining impartial to all manifestations. Being 'witness' to his inner-self without judgement. A sort of 'seance in paint'...

                                                                      Artist Statement

"During my childhood, I was constantly reminded that inside my body, things ‘weren’t right’. My father had to chase me down every week, and administer enemas just so I could have a bowel movement. My stomach was bloated and my teeth were discolored as the result of family dna. I suffered terribly during my school years from bullying and other humiliations, turning an already introverted nature towards misanthropy. It all culminated in an operation at 9 years old, where a surgeon cut me open and ‘fixed’ my insides. The teeth weren’t ‘fixed’ until a number of years later . So, there’s always been an element of those early experiences in my work. I’ve always been aware of my mortality, in some form or other, which was an early impetus to seek the ‘spiritual’ in life. Unfortunately, in my early teens , my latent addictive nature took hold, leading me down a dark path, and twisting my mind and behaviors in self-destructive ways. Fortunately, by the grace of a divine power in the Universe, and fellow recovering addicts, I was saved from destroying myself. I think, as I get older, my work will be more and more focused on the dualism between powerlessness (addiction), human frailty (in mind and body), and a divine presence in my Being, and the world, offering hope and the possibility of inner growth and change…."


1984   Bachelors of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.

1990   Master of Fine Arts, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.




2022     "Eco-Friendly", 10' high, aluminum entrance sculpture for the Phinizy Water Research Center,

                  Augusta, Georgia.

2020    “Guidance Tower” , 15’ high, aluminum sculpture, commissioned as the frontispiece for the

               City of Roanoke’s new 811/E911 Call Center, Roanoke, VA.

2020    “Fa Sol” , 8’ high, steel sculpture, selected for the Decatur Artway, Decatur, Georgia.

2019   “Orion” , 8’ high, steel sculpture, selected for ‘Salmagundi XXIII”’, by the city of Rocky Mount,NC.

              Installed at the AmTrack station in Rocky Mount. 

2019   “Oracle”, 8’ high, aluminum sculpture, selected for ‘Roanoke Rising’, by the city of Roanoke, VA.

              Installed in Elmwood Art Park, in downtown Roanoke. 

2018    “Mars Cutter”, Madison County Manufacturing Art Park, 10’ high sculpture, steel, Mars Hill, NC.

2018    “Ariel”, City of Asheville, Office of the Mayor. Wall sculpture on view in 

                 Mayor Elisabeth Manheimer’s office.

2017     “Alpha Centauri”, Uptown Tree Project, Greeley, Colorado. 20’ high aluminum sculpture.

2016    “Birds of Different Feathers”, Uptown Tree Project, Greeley, Colorado. 20’ high sculptural “tree”

                 made of one inch thick, painted aluminum forms.


2021.    Mark Bettis Gallery, “Finding the Light”, sculpture and paintings by David Sheldon.   

2020   Mark Bettis Gallery, “Affirmation and Renewal: Connecting to Nature,

                 New Works by David Sheldon”, sculpture and paintings by David Sheldon.   

2018    Tointon Gallery for the Visual Arts, “Murmuration “ Paintings by David Sheldon. 

                “Field Guide to the Birds of North America” intimate abstractions. Greeley, Colorado.

2017    High Point University, “Ascension”, paintings and sculpture, High Point, NC.

2015    Satellite Gallery, “Dreams and Structures, New Work by David Sheldon”, paintings and sculpture.

            Asheville, NC.

1997   Troyer, Fitzpatrick, Lassman Gallery, “Zoologica Mysterium”, paintings and sculpture,

              Washington, D.C.



2019   Asheville Area Arts Council, “Beyond Knowing”, An engaging, interactive, multi-media group

              show, curated by David Sheldon.

2019   Mark Bettis Studio/Gallery, “828”, Oil paintings on wood, with an Asheville theme.

2017    Ciel Gallery, Charlotte, NC. “Build” group show, sculptural installation.

1995    Ellipse Art Center,  “Tributaries”, sculpture,  juror, Lee Fleming, art critic, Washington

               Post, Arlington,VA.

1995     Maryland Art Place, “Critic’s Picks Show”, paintings, Juror, Faye Hirsch, New York art

                critic, Baltimore, MD. 

1994      Arlington Arts Center, “Annual Juried Show”, sculpture,Juror,Howard Fox, curator

                LACMA, Arlington,VA.



2021   Buffalo Creek Art Center, Sculptor Residency. Created "Buffalo Creek Quartet", steel.

             Gardnerville, Nevada.

2010  Individual Artist Project Grant, awarded by the Arts Council of Henderson County 

             and the North Carolina Arts Council.

1995    Awarded First Place, “Tributaries”, group sculpture show, Arlington, VA,

             by juror, Lee Fleming, art critic for the Washington Post.

1991   Individual Artist Grant, Maryland State Arts Council.

1990   Smithsonian Institute Internship, awarded to the model making department.

1982    European Honors Program, RISD, one year of study in Rome, Italy.



2008– 2013 Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, North Carolina.

                          Instructor of Art : Painting, Art Appreciation, Drawing I, II.

2008-2013    Brevard College, Brevard, North Carolina. Painting, Drawing.

2010-2012      Painting Coordinator, The Green River Preserve, Cedar Mountain, NC



1990-91     Principle Sculptor’s Assistant to James Sanborn, “Kryptos”, sculptural installation 

                       on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, VA. 

1992-94     Artist Assistant to William Calfee, Sculptor/painter and originating chairman, 

                       George Washington University Art Department, Washington, D.C.



Public and Private Collections / Nationally, Internationally.

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