Bronze sculptor, Shray, is one of the few working artists today who employs the subtractionist technique, where the artist finds the form in the clay as opposed to adding clay to an armature. Much like the technique of carving, Shray works with lines and shadows of the block, thoughtfully eliminating material from the block as she sculpts. Her simplicity of form has been compared to that of Henry Moore, Rodin and Brancusi.
“I see the emotion in the form, the hard lines, the curves, and allow them to carry the human condition through and around the negative and positive spaces. I am concerned with the fine line between the individual and humanity and how to achieve this without succumbing to sentimentality. This is one of the great puzzles figurative sculptors face. My approach is to let the form carry the emotion.” An intuitive artist, Shray’s sculptures never appear labored or forced. “While I work, I am able to see geometrically while recognizing a sense of humanity while pushing towards abstraction.” Shray balances the figurative and the abstract without losing human emotion.
Over the past 25 years, Shray’s work has received both national and international recognition in the form of awards and commissions. Shray’s bronze sculpture, Raising Tomorrow’s Olympic Champions was juried to travel throughout China and the world as one of the top selections of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Based on the success of this juried exhibition, Shray became the recipient of the 5 Rings Award at the Fourth Annual Beijing 2008 Cultural Festival.
Shray’s bronze sculpture is constantly evolving. “My objective as an artist is to create a piece that captures movement in stillness. The hard metal becomes the flesh and bone of humanity to reveal a strong sense of universality and invite a personal identification. I strive for a quality of pureness and allow the viewer inside the work, to identify each in their own way with the story.” Her dedication to her sculptor’s vision was recognized with the 2018 Award in Sculpture by the Allied Artists of America Association.