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Nickel Plate Arts Features Artists Michelle Feeney and Michael J. Mcguire

This May, Nickel Plate Arts is focusing on two of their showcase artists: Michelle “Shelley” Feeney on display at Four Day Ray Brewing in Fishers, and Michael J. McGuire on display in the Stephenson House, on Nickel Plate Arts campus.

If you live in Fishers, odds are you’ve heard the name Shelley Feeney, and it’s quite possible that you’ve seen her artwork. Teaching art for more than 15 years in the Hamilton Southeastern School District, Shelley has been a strong advocate for student creativity and expression. Working with Fishers Arts Council, she proudly displays her students’ work in City Hall annually, but in recent years, she’s started displaying her own.

As a 2021 Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship winner, Shelley traveled to New Mexico and Spain to experiment with a new finger-painting technique. While she had been working on a finger-painting style for a few years, this trip pushed her and gave her new direction to refine her technique.

On the walls of Four Day Ray, you’ll see paintings capturing sunsets in Costa Brava, quaint villages nestled in hills, and groves of thick olive trees. The textures and colors are quite engaging, which lead Shelley to the most appropriate exhibit title, “Colors and Textures of the Land.” Drop in any day of the week to grab a local brew, a delicious meal, and enjoy Shelley’s work now through June 29. You’re also invited to meet Shelley in person at her public reception on Monday, May 23, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Brewery at Four Day Ray.

Michael McGuire is definitely a #miracleartist – and his introduction to art was not one that most people experience. Prior to October 10, 2015, Michael traveled for his medical sales job, working long hours, and focusing on his career and his family. But at 3 a.m. on that date, he awoke confused and not speaking clearly. Megan, his wife, drove him to the emergency room.

After a CT scan, the doctor said Michael had bleeding on his brain. He was transferred to a neurology intensive care unit and diagnosed with Dural Venous Sinus Thrombosis. Two days later, he was rushed into emergency surgery to reduce severe swelling and pressure on his brain. A portion of his skull was removed and the surgery saved his life. However, after his brain injury, Michael developed Aphasia.

During an Aphasia support group at Butler University, Michael picked up a paintbrush. He had never considered his artistic potential. A paintbrush was new to him, but something happened when he began to use it – he discovered his hidden talent and a creative eye for color. Megan, his wife, says that “his ability to paint such beautiful artwork is simply amazing, and a true blessing!”

Michael has been painting for about twelve years now, largely in acrylic media on canvas. He draws inspiration from many different things, painting whatever he is thinking or feeling.  While his passion is abstract art, his body of work includes contemporary, still life, faith-based and nature-themed works. Step into the Stephenson House on Nickel Plate Arts campus Wednesday-Friday Noon-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. to check out Michael’s exhibit now through May 28. You can meet Michael in person at his free public reception, Friday May 20 from 5-8 p.m. on the Nickel Plate Arts campus.