NORFOLK — Artwork by Norfolk native Rev. Dr. Shelley D. Best is now on display at The Norfolk Library.
The library held an opening for Best’s artwork on Sunday, Nov. 7.
Best is the President and CEO of the Conference of Churches and is a visual artist, minister, and yogini who has traveled to Israel, Palestine, South Africa, India, and the Caribbean. According to a press release, the art on display at the library was inspired by the photography of Angelica Dass who photographed 5,000 people around the world to determine their Pantone color.
“The series represents my prayers and portraits about the way our lives are impacted in America by the color of our skin,” Best wrote in the press release. “I desire to create new spaces for our beloved community to come together and discover the gifts found in the garden of our diversity.”
“This exhibit is a meditation on what is black,” Best said in an interview with the Winsted Phoenix. “This means that all colors could be black, but once you become black, then your life changes. Each work is a meditation and a reflection because when I paint I pray. So the prayers that you see around are also a collection of some of the thoughts that I had throughout the pandemic, especially as we look at the multiple pandemics dealing with issues of race as well.”
Best said that painting is important to her because “it’s a way of talking without words.”
“Sometimes you don’t hear, you just feel it,” Best said. “This exhibit is important to a town like Norfolk because I grew up here. To come here in these times is a great opportunity to open a different kind of conversation. We need to start talking about issues of race and difference. I hope people who look at these paintings meditate, and follow the colors. Feel the meditations of the squares, and also think about the fact that people’s lives can be so different based on color. That’s something that we all must pay attention to.”
Best’s work will be on display at the library until Monday, Nov. 30.
For more information about The Norfolk Library go to norfolklibrary.org.
For more information about the work of Rev. Dr. Shelley D. Best go to www.Rev.DrShelley.com
Photos by Shaw Israel Izikson