There have been artists on both sides of my family with careers ranging from courtroom artist (*1), illustrators for film (*2), fashion and books, scenic artist to art director, so it seemed natural to pursue the arts as a way of life. I followed my father (Richard T. Shelton) in his leap from muralist to working in theatre, film and television. My mother, Blossom L. Shelton, continued to pursue printmaking (*3) and art throughout her life.
After assisting my father on murals (and modeling for them *4), I earned a B.F.A. in Theatre Design from SUNY Purchase, NY and began my professional life as costume shopper for The New York Shakespeare Festival under Milo Morrow in Joseph Papp's heyday, followed by two seasons at the Metropolitan Opera's costume department under Peter J. Hall.
In the years since, I've had the chance to work in various capacities across the country in projects ranging from big period feature films ("The Cotton Club", "The Ice Storm", "The Ciderhouse Rules"), television series of every sort, to small budget independent films where the challenge is to delineate a sense of character and give the film "a look" while juggling minimal budgets.
My aim is to continue to pursue the more interesting projects be they high or low budget in film, theatre, television and the commercial world.
*1 One of my Great Uncle Gene Widhoff's sketches from the trial of Charles Manson during his time as NBC's courtroom artist. He was awarded an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement in Creative Technical Crafts" for his coverage of that trial in 1971.
*2 Gene's lobby card for "Follow The Fleet" (1936) from his days at RKO Radio Pictures (where he was credited simply as "Widhoff")
*3 Print by Blossom L. Shelton
*4 Pictured with my childhood portrait some years ago at my father's mural in the Pierre Hotel's Garden Foyer.