Shirley Taylor



By Dale Ricardo Shields


Shirley Taylor received her MFA in painting from the City College of New York and has studied at the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts, and Parsons School of Design.

Her paintings and drawings are featured in a number of private collections. A native  New Yorker, she has devoted the past 25 years to designing and directing arts education programs for children and adults throughout NYC. Her recent works focus on mixed media painting and collage.

For me, the art-making process, and particularly the process of collage, is one of discovery, contemplation, pursuance, and resolution.

There is a somewhat destructive quality to creating in this way; cutting and tearing things apart then putting them together with other things to make them part of something new. “Finishing” a collage is a way of healing the destruction.


A painter and graphic designer, it was only through a severe physical challenge several years ago that I was able to find the courage, time, and patience to sit with paper, photos, pencil, paint and other materials and allow the inherent rhythm of making art this way to emerge.

This was part of my healing journey. Many of the works that I created during this period were inspired by nature and how the natural elements inform and reflect the human condition. They also, I believe, offer guidance on how we can heal ourselves and the planet.”






Shirley C. Taylor began her career in arts administration at the New York Foundation for the Arts in 1987. She has since built a career leading a variety of arts and cultural education programs throughout New York City: Associate Director for Visual Arts Programs at ArtsConnection; Director of Arts Programs at University Settlement Society; Deputy Director of Programs, Education for the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning; Director of Education and Public Programs at the Noguchi Museum; and Coordinator of the High School Partnership Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Since 2006, she has served as Director of Education at the historic Apollo Theater. Ms. Taylor has provided consulting services for a number of educational and cultural organizations including the Partnership for After School Education and Yaffa Cultural Arts. She is a recipient of the New York City School Art League 2004 Charles Robertson Memorial Award and the 2014 Riverside Club Professional Award.

She has served as a member of the NYC Department of Education’s Advisory Board for Arts Education and on the Board of Directors for One World Arts. Ms. Taylor holds an M.F.A. in painting from CUNY/CCNY and is a graduate of the Columbia Business School Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. A visual artist and native New Yorker, she resides in Harlem.