Zenith (Green), Surge (Orange), and Bliss (Blue)

by Shirley Wagner


July 2022


Shirley Wagner is a Tucson artist. She graduated with a fine arts degree from Youngstown University in Ohio. Her favorite art class was sculpture, where she developed a love of form and structure. For nearly three decades she has been fabricating wall assemblages in her Arizona studio. Her early work in wood was inspired by the art of American artist Louise Nevelson.

In the last two years, Wagner has moved her focus from wall assemblages to large-scale figurative sculptures in metal. Continuing her ongoing dialogue with form and structure, her three-dimensional figures entertain a narrative revolving around human emotion. With this  new endeavor, she is setting her sights on public art.

Her work has been widely shown in Arizona including Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Tempe Center for the Arts, and the University  of Arizona College of Medicine — Phoenix. Her art is in the permanent collection of the Honors College at the University of Arizona.  Early in her career, Wagner was nominated for the Governor’s Art Award, recognizing her contribution to the arts in Arizona. Most  recently, she was awarded a grant from the Arizona Commission for the Arts to incorporate 3D technology into her sculpture practice. She is represented by Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson.