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About the Artist

Shelley Hoist is extremely grateful to have created her life as a natural fiber artist – manifesting a life-long dream. Living on the Kona Coast of Hawai‘i Island, she is inspired each day by the abundance of natural fibers and found treasures that she transforms into sculptural art vessels, basketry, wall décor and accessories (purses, hats and jewelry).

Shelley’s relationship with the fiber begins with a fallen sheath of a giant palm leaf, which she manipulates and sculpts into a brand new form. With an artist’s hand, she consistently pushes the boundaries (and the fiber) to develop new techniques and products. "It's like a dance,” she says, “with both of us working together to achieve a new form of art." After the initial process, new (often unplanned) organic shapes emerge, after which the artist carefully hand stitches and adorns the piece with her own inspirations.

A unique personality also emerges with each piece. "With my hands on the sheath, I seem to receive messages that remind me of our relationship with ourselves, each other and the Earth. They become a theme then for the art’s recipient to find strength and guidance in the abundant messages from nature.”

A resident of Hawai‘i Island since the late 1970s, Shelley comes from a family of makers from middle America. While working in administration and raising her two children, she made her first palm basket in 1997 after learning the basic techniques from a friend. After beginning as a hobby craft, a higher level of art emerged as she honed her skills and intensified her focus. Around 2005, after many requests, she began selling her work and in 2008 devoted herself full time to her art form.

Shelley was accepted into her first mainland juried art show in 2013, the Western Design Conference in Jackson, Wyoming, and came home with an award in the Home Accents category. In 2014 NICHE Magazine (connecting galleries and fine retailers) chose her as NICHE Award finalist and she also showed at the prestigious American Craft Council Show in San Francisco. By 2016, she was awarded Best in Show at the Kahilu Theater's “Art off the Wall” exhibit, and was invited to do a solo show there later that year. Her work is now in collections all over the world.

Working closely with interior designers for residential and commercial installations, Shelley has made unique custom pieces for professional offices, hotels and homeowners, often using heirloom accessories in the process.

Although each piece is unique, she will create a specially customized piece upon request for an individual client.

You can find Shelley Hoist every Saturday at the Waimea Town Market on the Big Island, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

You can view her work at Volcano Art Center Gallery on Hawai‘i Island and Viewpoints Gallery on Maui.

Contact Shelley to schedule an appointment to visit her studio in Kealakekua, Kona.