Shirley Cleary received her BFA Degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA Degree from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia and Rome, Italy. She also studied at the University of Valencia (Spain) and the Corcoran in Washington, DC. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, has lived in Montana since 1971 and spends the Montana winter painting and fishing in Gore, New Zealand.
Her paintings have been featured in many publications including: "American Artist", "Art West","The Artist's Magazine", "US Art", "Inform Art", "Fly Fisher's Magazine”, “Angler’s Journal”, “Disegnare & Dipingere” , “The Atlantic Salmon Journal and in several issues of “Wildlife Art”. She is listed in Samuel's "Contemporary Western Artists", "An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West", "Who's Who in American Art" (since 1987) and “Who’s Who in America”.
Shirley has participated in many invitational and juried exhibitions including a one woman exhibition at the American Museum of Flyfishing in Manchester, VT and group exhibitions including “International Miniature Exhibition” at the Smithsonian Institute, Treasure State Invitational Exhibition , “Women Artists of the West" at the Tucson Museum of Art; Maryland Waterfowl Festival; Easton Academy of the Arts (MD) “the Art of Flyfishing-A Visual History”; Foothills Art Center (Golden, CO), “Rivers: The Song of Life”, “Wild Thing” and “The Artful Angler” and the CM Russell Auction at CM Russell Museum (Great Falls, MT). She is represented by galleries in New Zealand and the United States and her work is licensed through Wild Wings, Inc.
Shirley was the winner of the 1990 Oregon Trout Stamp/Print competition and the 1992 Assoc. of Northwest Steelheaders Stamp/ Print. In 1999 she received the “Communication in Conservation Award” from National Trout Unlimited and was the 2001 print artist of the year for National Trout Unlimited and was commissioned to paint two patron paintings for Montana Trout Unlimited in 2002. Six of her paintings have been in the top 100 Arts for the Park Competition and one in the top 200. She won first place in the Casper Artists Guild International Miniature Art Exhibition and the Grand Award in the 2005 Rocky Mountain Art Show and Auction and was a finalist in International Artists Magazine floral competition.
Her work is represented in such collections as the National Parks Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federation of Flyfishers International Flyfishing Center, First Bank System, the Washington Post, Herning Hojskole (Denmark) and the Hokonui Museum in Gore, New Zealand.
Her work has been on several covers of Cabella’s catalogue and she is one of the Modern Masters represented in a recent book: “The Fine Art of Angling: Ten Modern Masters”.