Shirley Steele

About the Artist

  I work in creative coding, animation, print-making, and sometimes, a little paint. My artwork explores concepts in language and technology, inspired by my love of language and my experience as a research scientist in computer speech. My work is a visual exploration of verbal ideas.

Visual motifs that turn up in my work include ancient writing systems like hieroglyphics and runes, contemporary memes like power-up buttons and emojis, and modern writing systems made of disparate graphemes and signs, which nonetheless express the same ideas. I am interested in how language makes thinking possible, in whether the structure of thought is influenced by the use of a particular language, and in how thinking is influenced by interaction with technology. Visual investigation of these abstract questions yields unique insights, and also expands the very nature of art.

My website is

photo by Max Yawney 

Selected Exhibition


2019     Tiny/Massive, lights festival, Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland

2015     Miami Mix, Projects Gallery, Miami, FL

2014     Electric Fields-Madrid, #programalaplaza, animation, façade at MediaLab-Prado, Madrid

2013    Art in the Air, animation, PECO Crown Lights, 27-story Philadelphia Electric Co. building, Philadelphia

2010    Art in the Air, animation, PECO Crown Lights, 27-story Philadelphia Electric Co. building, Philadelphia


Installation/Digital prints:

2019     Hello World, Gerogetown Arts Center, Georgetown TX

2018     Cloud Storage, Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, Kerrville, TX

2017     Cloud Storage: Memes & Graphemes, Ceres Gallery, New York, NY


Digital Prints:

2014     Hand and Machine, Ceres Gallery, New York, NY

2014     Projects Gallery, Aqua Fine Art Fair at Art Basel Miami, Miami, FL

2013     Projects Gallery, Houston Fine Art Fair, Houston, TX

2013     TwelveXTwelve, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia


Art Education


1994-1998     Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (painting, printmaking)

1986-1990     Art Students’ League, New York, NY (painting, drawing)

Scientific Education and Experience


1987-1994        Natural Language Processing Group, Unisys Corporation, Paoli, PA

1985-1987        Acoustics Research, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ

1980-1985        Speech Research Group, Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX

1985                   Ph.D., Brain and Language, University of Texas at Dallas

Mixed Media

These unique hand-painted/digital prints are delivered with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist and the gallery.  For delivery outside the U.S. please contact the Project at the email or phone below. 

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