Shirley Bernstein Photo

Shirley Bernstein

artist, works on paper

printmaking, drawing, painting

Shirley Bernstein was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA at the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) and shortly after was awarded her MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She majored in printmaking and minored in painting and drawing.

Shirley spent most of her adult life in New York City and moved to the rural northeast corner of Connecticut in 1989. She became captivated with the beauty of the land and sky and has been creating oil pastel paintings and prints of all kinds of skies since. Although her focus is primarily looking to the heavens for inspiration, she also enjoys drawing the figure and other natural forms.

She has an extensive exhibition record that includes both her oil pastels and prints and has shown her work both nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of The Newport Museum, Library of Congress, Slater Museum, Indiana University Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Union Carbide Corp., Neiman Marcus, Arjo Wiggins, Eastern CT State College, Wheaton College Rare Books, Staubiz Design, Dodd Center Special Collections at UCONN and Fairfield University.

While keeping up with a busy exhibition schedule, Shirley is also a dedicated art teacher and takes pride in her professional affiliations that add value to her teaching and studio work. She received the Teaching Excellence Award at Quinebaug Valley Community College where she is currently teaching. She has also taught at the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Cooper Union, NYC, Indiana University, IN, Kean University, NJ, Beaver College, PA, University of the Arts, PA, Fashion Institute, NYC and Knoxville College, TN.

Shirley was Artist of the Month in March for the Oil Pastel Society of America, which was seen on line at, where you can also view her current oil pastel works. Shirley was elected to the Oil Pastel Society as a signature member.

She is a founding member of the Printmakers Network of Southern New England and has been in five print portfolios, as well as a book of poetry and prints with the group. Her prints can be seen at She is also a member of the Los Angeles Printmakers Society and the Boston Printmakers.

Most recently she became a member of the Wood Engraver’s Society and received the 75th Anniversary Award in a traveling exhibition in England.