Visit Ivy's work at: Ivy Chaya Art
I was labeled an artist from the beginning- my early grade school art teacher quickly singled me out for my skill, and my parents and grandmother graciously reciprocated my interest with art supplies, classes and support. My high school art teacher, Cape May County artist and teacher Walter Mormello, was dedicated to helping me hone in on my painting skills. Mormello allowed me to come and paint during study hall and created a special class for me in 12th grade when my rigorous schedule would not allow for a study hall during regular allotted times. In independent study under his guidance, I focused on learning the traditional ways of oil painting, as well as working in acrylics & other mediums with classmates. I attended Mason Gross School of Fine Arts in Rutgers New Brunswick for freshmen year of college, and continued studying painting and art history at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey until graduation in 2006. My painting instructor at Stockton, David Ahlsted, was both inspiring and encouraging. Ahlsted's colorful abstracted still life's and vivid landscapes greatly influenced my work, and his critiques and instruction helped me grow as an artist.
I am proud to say my first professional 'gig' was from a phone call I received as a freshmen in high school. I was terrified because one day during school I was called to the principals office for the first time in my life, and the principal says, "Ivy, I called you here because I got a call that is a little disturbing to me, and honestly I've never gotten a call like this before- but it's a call for you, so I am going to put you on the phone and listen to the conversation..." It was a local hotel owner and parent who had seen one of my paintings in the local paper, and wanted me to do a mural in her office!
Teaching art in Wildwood High School and summers at Kidz Creations in Ocean City, working at William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor, doing private commissions, painting murals for local businesses, and painting props and scenery on backdrops for Wildwood High School plays were my side jobs during and after college. Then in September 2008 I moved to Manhattan and began working as a mural artist with Sam Simon Projects. With Sam, I worked for many prestigious clients including Claudine and Raphael DeNiro, and Julie Ordon, (model for Chanel, Victoria Secret, Sports Illustrated, Playboy); both clients commissioned murals and numerous paintings. Our studio also participated in the Bushwick Arts Festival with an art exhibit on wheels, entitled "Sparkle Motion" for two consecutive summers.
In New York City, I met my husband, musician, writer and Ocean City native, Eddie Shiffler. I also collaborated with his roommate and best friend, Joshua Reto (also from Ocean City, NJ) on many exciting art 'gigs' such as murals, sculpting prototypes for reproduction, and painting top quality life sized museum figures at Kodiak Studios in Brooklyn. Eddie and I collaborated with several artists and performers to organize events in New York City such as the Lower East Side Art Expo 2009, 2010. I also showed in Manhattan gallery, Sloan Art's 2010 exhibit, "Single Fare."
In 2011, Edward and I returned to New Jersey with our two sons, Edward IV (4) & Wilson (2). After traveling the country for inspiration, Eddie and I opened Ivy Chaya Art Gallery in Downtown Millville from 2012 to 2013, where we participated in many private and community arts events, such as the 2012 Arts, Music & Antiques Festival founded by the late great Jim Penland, the 2013 Flower Festival conceived by Penland/ headed by Eddie & myself, our open mic night "Second Saturday Sounds," and figure drawing groups held on first Fridays. Our gallery hosted many great artists and received critical acclaim in the regional press and internet media sites.
Now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey my in-home studio is on 11th Street off of Asbury where I conduct private lessons and create new works. I have shown work at Who's on 1st Street Cafe and currently have paintings at the William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor. Eddie and I are getting involved with local community members to collaborate on new events downtown such as "Rattling Chains" to be held March 15th & 16th at Ocean City Repertory Theater. As a first year member of Ocean City Fine Arts League, I am excited to be a part of the great establishment that helped to create and enliven the Art Scene that is an integral part of Ocean City's Downtown on Asbury today, started by so many great artists back when my husband was a young man working for the League.