Calgary, AB, Canada

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Mama & Papa

Our Story

Mark and Shelley met in 2012, were married in 2013 and have been together for over 6 years. Shelley says she instantly knew Mark was the one she would marry through a series of signs. One of those signs was when he told her his last name was May. Throughout Shelley's childhood friends and family called her Shelley May for no apparent reason. When she heard Mark's last name for the first time she knew it was one of many signs from Creator and she trusted. 

Mark and Shelley are busy Kinship parents and are currently raising two separae family members children; 3 boys;  ages 10, 7 and 22 months and two of them have special needs. This keeps for a very busy home life and not much time for art but when they do have time to spend creating they take advantage of it. 

 One day Shelley had the idea to collaborate artistically with Mark. People immediately fell in love with the collaborations and the idea of bringing a balance of masculine and feminine energy to a piece of art. Mark paints the backgrounds and other small details as well as writes his poetry into their pieces. Shelley paints the whimsical portraits for which she is known for and often using pieces of old hymn pages to paint the faces on. Since her grandmother attended residential school and her mother was a devoted Anglican, Shelley feels it helps her deal with the loss of her culture and the inter-generational trauma that her family has endured. As for Mark entering into a Cree Métis family that is close and supportive of each other has helped him to finding acceptance and a sense of belonging. 

Mark and Shelley have since collaborated on many creations and are currently working together on illustrating a children's book . The couple have also been working hard on another exciting project that they hope to announce later this year. 

The response we got from people at this Cochrane event was overwhelming and we knew we Spirit was still backing us. We met so many people and several people came to our table to let us know how special our art was. It was a very special day for us as we were still fairly new to the art scene so knowing we were being appreciated and supported was huge for us.

"The Messenger" by Mark E. May & Shelley Rose May

Mark painted the background in his signature acrylic and multi coloured background. Shelley painted the owl and the couple in acrylic and water colour. 

"The Darkest Hours" Collaboration Art by Mark E. May & Shelley Rose May

Mark painted the background and wrote the quote and Shelley created the whimsical bear and girl in the original creation as well the circles.