Shirley Bernstein was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA at the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) and shortly after was awarded her MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She majored in printmaking and minored in painting and drawing.
Shirley spent most of her adult life in New York City and moved to the rural northeast corner of Connecticut in 1989. She became captivated with the beauty of the land and sky and has been creating oil pastel paintings and prints of all kinds of skies since. Although her focus is primarily looking to the heavens for inspiration, she also enjoys drawing the figure and other natural forms.
She has an extensive exhibition record that includes both her oil pastels and prints and has shown her work both nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of Pacific Rim International Print collection, The Newport Museum, Robert Blackburn Collection at the Library of Congress, Slater Museum, Indiana University Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Union Carbide Corp., Neiman Marcus, Arjo Wiggins, Eastern CT State College, Wheaton College Rare Books, Staubiz Design, Dodd Center, Fletcher Memorial Library, Special Collections at UCONN, Fairfield University, McNeese State University, The Newark Library and Syracuse University, as well as private collection in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
While keeping up with a busy exhibition schedule, Shirley was also a dedicated college art professor. She received the Teaching Excellence Award at Quinebaug Valley Community College where she retired from in 2013. She has also taught at the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Cooper Union, NYC, Indiana University, IN, Kean University, NJ, Beaver College, PA, University of the Arts, PA, Fashion Institute, NYC and Knoxville College, TN.
Shirley was Artist of the Month in March for the Oil Pastel Society of America, which was seen on line at www.oilpastelsociety.com, where you can also view her current oil pastel works.
She is a founding member of the Printmakers Network of Southern New England and has been in five print portfolios, as well as a book of poetry and prints with the group. Her prints can be seen at . She is also a member of the Los Angeles Printmakers Society, Wood Engravers’ Society, Center for Contemporary Printmaking and the Boston Printmakers.