Born in 1951, Peter Shelton was a pre-medical student at Pomona College, studying sociology, anthropology and theatre, before he switched to major in fine art. Shelton went on to earn a trade certificate in welding from the Hobart School of Welding Technology in his hometown of Troy, Ohio (1974) and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (1979).
Shelton has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1987); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (1994); the Irish Museum of Art, Dublin (1998 – 1999); and the Portland Art Museum, Portland (2011).
Shelton’s work may be found in collections worldwide, such as the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Panza Foundation, Milan; and Museum of Modern Art, Lodz. Public commissions include sixbeastsandtwomonkeys for the Police Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles, and thinmanlittlebird for the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, both in 2009.
Among other awards, Shelton has received the St. Gaudens Memorial Fellowship (2000); Flintridge Foundation: Awards for Visual Artists (1999/2000); Guggenheim Fellowship (1989); and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1987).