Shelly McCoy was born in Stephenville, a seaside town in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1962. Having grown up in a small town by the ocean, she has a general love and respect for nature and is an avid collector of Newfoundland beach rocks, which are depicted in some of her drawings and mixed media works.
Following her passion for art, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1986, majoring in Painting. Later she received her master's degree in Art Education from Florida International University.
Her work in general is experimental in nature, ranging from mixed media relief to three-dimensional objects, and comprised of a wide range of materials from the traditional color pencils to the non-traditional asphalt, as in her most recent work. Shelly’s interest in construction and remodeling have influenced her choice of materials in her art. Industrial supplies, such as rubber, tar, cement, thin-set, roofing shingles, resin, grout, wax, ceramic tile, and spray insulation have been used in her work. Exploring these materials out of context has always held a fascination for her.
Shelly views the purpose of her work as twofold: it plays a cathartic role and is also a platform to express concerns and opinions about social issues.
Her award-winning work and installations have been exhibited in Canada and South Florida in galleries and public institutions.
Her work has been recognized through grants and scholarships from The Newfoundland-Labrador Arts Council, The Effie May Ross Scholarship, Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Government of Newfoundland Procurement Program and Ocean Bank Education Fund, Florida. She currently lives in South Florida and teaches Fine Art in Miami-Dade Public Schools.