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2021 Senior BFA Interviews: Shelly Crooz

Painted portrait of the artist with shoulder-length hair and a yellow top, against a background of green striped cacti
Soniatl, 24 x 24, Oil on Canvas.

Shelly Crooz

Shelly Crooz is a Chicana Artist pursing her BFA at The College of NJ. The idea behind her senior thesis was to create a living space that bombards the audience with Mexican Imagery; this space is inspired by her Mexican heritage. Her show will include screen prints, a weaving, digital media, and a painting as well as  items found in a typical Mexican household. She tried to include various mediums in her thesis because she felt like that describes who she is as an artist.

Her process begins by looking inward; just thinking back on her everyday surroundings and experiences as a chicana woman, and just waiting for an idea to hit her. If an idea just isn’t coming or is very fragmented, Crooz finds herself scrolling through Instagram and just overstimulating her brain with other artists work.

Crooz describes her process further: “This is going to sound very cliche, but the first artist I was inspired by was frida kahlo just because it was the first artist that was a WOMAN AND POC that i was introduced to in elementary.. I felt represented and she’s a main source of inspiration in my work.. for thesis my self portrait was inspired by Alfredo Ramos Martinez’s painting mancayota; A few emerging artists I am inspired by are Emilia Cruz, Jose Flores Chamale.”