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Shelley Rugg

Born in Oakland, CA

Raised in Long Beach, CA

Lives & works in Inverness, West Marin, CA


Reconnecting humanity with nature is the core motivation in my work. With the devastating impact of climate change looming, we must awaken to the emergency and prepare to take extreme measures in order to have any hope of saving the future for those who will carry on long after we are gone.


I have loved to draw and paint people ever since I was a little girl, because of the portrait by artist Richard Highland that hung over the couch in my living room. The painting had an elegance and simplicity that was striking, and the eyes that gazed straight ahead would follow you around the room. It was because of that painting that I wanted to get good at drawing and painting people.

My current body of work is looking at merging my concerns about climate change, and my love for portrait work. I am also available for commissions of pet and people portraits, so please visit my shop to start your special commission. 



  • Present, Visual and Performing Artist and Owner, RuggArts and Creative & Abundant Artist Program

  • 2004-14, Artistic Director at Hope Center for the Arts (formerly Hope University)

  • 2000-04, Independant Arts Contractor and Business Owner

  • 1991-2002, Artist, Single Mom, and part-time Art Teacher at Hope University


  • 2016/17, Graduate, Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy

  • 2003 Professional Designation in Arts Education, Los Angeles County Arts Education Training Program

  • 1997 Neighborhood Entrepreneurial Program, Long Beach, Women's Economic Development Program

  • 1992 MFA, Drawing and Painting, California State University, Long Beach

Grants & Awards 

  • 2001-2005 - Artist in Residence Grants (annual), City of LA Cultural Affairs Department

  • 2004 - Individual Artist Fellowship, the Arts Council for Long Beach

  • 2001 - Neighborhood Arts Grant, the Arts Council for Long Beach


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