Passionate Voices Expressed in Sound Bearing Plastic: An Evening with Collector Richard Shelton
Richard Shelton is well-known to the Otis Community as the Director of Creative Action, but what many don’t know is that he is also a serious collector. “I bought my first vinyl record at the age of ten out of an advertisement in TV Guide (13 records or tapes for a dollar),” he writes. “Since that moment in time, like my idol, the writer Lester Bangs, ‘I have been devouring every sound bearing piece of plastic I can find.’ It started out as this fanatical obsession with rock and roll music but now includes almost every genera of sound including spoken word. I will discuss and play gems from my spoken word archive and also give you a taste of my psychotic compulsion to collect. What a long strange trip it’s been.”
For the past twenty years, Shelton has been active working with community organizations such as Junior Blind, the Republic of Palau, Homeboy Industries, Urban Compass in Watts, the Getty, Los Angeles Poverty Department, the Minnesota State and Federal Correction Facilities; with Film in the Cities (video in the schools, animation with non-verbal students, conducting video workshops on Cass Lake/Leech Lake Ban of Ojibwe Native American Reservation); Open Arms; and Upward Bound. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, NEXIT Gallery (Holland), Carlton College, and Goldstein Gallery at the University of Minnesota. He has also worked as a graphic designer in partnership with Kali Nikitas at Graphic Design for Love (+$). Before Otis, he taught at Northeastern and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.