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Illustrated Individuals: See what Chelsea Dean creates outside the classroom

Chelsea Dean poses with her print work
Chelsea Dean poses with her print work

At a very young age, Chelsea Dean, visual arts instructor, discovered her love of the arts.  Though she admires a variety of art, she has always practiced 2-dimensional art in the form of painting, drawing or collage.  Dean got her bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Puget Sound and then went to graduate school at Claremont Graduate University where she received a master’s degree in drawing.

One pivotal moment in Dean’s career was when she met one of her icons, Julius Shulman, a famous architectural photographer.  Dean was using a lot of his imagery as inspiration for her own work and admired his work and saw him as a hero. But, when she eventually had the opportunity to meet him at his studio, things did not go the way she imagined.

“He waved his hand in my face and said, ‘I dismiss you,’” Dean said.  “It was humiliating. Here you’re meeting this person who is supposed to be your hero and he just crushes all of your hopes and dreams.”

Despite this unfortunate experience, Dean never wavered from her passion for art.  She continues to create her own art, such as photography, drawing, printmaking and more, and found another great outlet in teaching.  Dean said she truly enjoys working with her students and teaching art at Marlborough.

“I find a lot of inspiration from working with students,” Dean said.  “ I remember one of my students, who is now in art school, would be in my room all the time. We would sit in my office and she would help me title pieces; she even helped me come up with a title for one of my shows,” Dean said.  “I think there is something really valuable, for me, in sharing that experience, not just with my peers in the art world, but also with my students here.”

Dean also curates and has her own art shown in many art shows around Los Angeles.

“Group shows are a lot of fun because you are interacting with a lot of people, and a lot of the time there is more of a dialogue that is created between your work and someone else’s work,” Dean said.

Dean is currently working on a big group show at the Brand Library in Glendale planned for March. To view Dean’s work and get more information about her upcomming shows, visit

Art by Chelsea Dean
Art by Chelsea Dean