Local Artist’s Work on Display in Burgin

Friday, October 15, 2021
Anita Shively’s oil painting “Chasing Light” 

Mercersburg Academy is exhibiting local artist Anita Shively’s work in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Cofrin Gallery from October 5 to November 19. Her show is titled “Chasing Light.” 

An artist’s reception will be hosted on Friday, November 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Earlier that day, Shively will visit with the classes of Sydney Caretti, arts faculty and director of galleries at Mercersburg.

Shively, an oil painter who lives in Mercersburg, expresses herself through the translation of unspoken thoughts and radiates emotion with her paintings. She communicates the magic of painting by chasing and capturing light. Each painting demonstrates visual energy and how light transmutes every day into the sublime. 

“I am excited and grateful that Anita has agreed to this exhibit, reception, and day of visiting classes,” says Caretti. “She is such an incredible talent, teacher, and person who truly lives an artist’s life invested and involved in ‘Chasing Light’ and capturing the beauty around her.”

Shively’s appreciation for the beauty and magic in painting began as a child. Through observation, she studied and highly admired the artistry within Gothic churches: sculptures, paintings, stained glass, and architecture. Shively followed her passion for painting and her artistic expression flourished through each mark that she made on a canvas. She earned an undergraduate art education degree and completed her graduate studies in graphic design. Her traveling professor from her senior year of college inspired her to make further connections. She embraced her curiosity to teach art lessons to interested students. Being in a supportive art classroom, Shively was always excited, and students were optimistic. In fact, some former students even pursued their own art careers. 

In 1978, Shively started teaching for the Tuscarora School District in Mercersburg. Cultivating her valuable experiences with a school community, she taught art for 33 years in five of the six Tuscarora School District buildings. Shively worked with students from elementary through 12th grade, and she spent her last eight years teaching at James Buchanan High School. She continues to cherish those memories made with the students, staff, and the Mercersburg community.

Shively was enlightened by her traveling and the workshop experiences that fostered her art education. For 22 summers, she instructed a gifted program, “Creative Expression,” including literature, art, and music. Shively also participated in the National Gallery Teacher’s Institute and had the opportunity to travel overseas, exploring several art museums, galleries, cathedrals, and workshops. Since her retirement in 2014, Shively has continued her artistic endeavors through local studio clubs and participating in oil painting workshops. In addition to teaching, she thrives in learning more about how to enhance her artistic abilities and form networks with other accomplished painters. 

Future shows include a fall student art exhibit, followed by visiting artist Donte Moore from January 16 through February 18, 2022, in the Cofrin Gallery. (Fun fact: Moore’s high school art teacher was Shively.)

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen (owenl@mercersburg.edu) in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.