Theresa D. Polley-Shellcroft is an artist, educator and Breast Cancer Survivor. Raised by her maternal grandparents, as they gave her mother the opportunity to finish high school and attend college, the importance of education was instilled early in life. She exhibited artistic talents early in life, painting, drawing, sewing, playing the flute and piano during her elementary years. As the eldest grandchild, she has the responsibility of setting an example for those siblings, cousins and friends who came behind her in age. Thus, the skills of leadership and responsibility for others were set at an early age. Community dedication became important in her life guiding her career.
She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education, from West Virginia State University (HBCU); a Master of Arts in Fine Arts in Studio Arts and Art History from Marshall University. She continued with post graduate studies in Art History, focusing upon the study of African/African American Art at the University of Pittsburgh. She is dedicated to the continued study and the teaching of African American art history and culture. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Her artworks are in private and public collections including the Smithsonian Collection of African American Culture. She is listed in Who’s Who Among Teachers and Who’s Who Among American Women. Included in her many awards and recognitions in the fields of art, education and community service, is the Spirit of Sankofa Award presented by the San Bernardino County of African American Employees Association, California, 2017.
She continues her career as an educator which spans more than 50 years, including teaching levels of Pre-School to Adult. As the Founder of tps Creative Expressions, Inc, a 501 C-3 organization, her dedication to the arts and to the community, encouraging others to find and to develop their creativity, is expressed.
Her most honored role and position is that of being the eldest of her generation, and the next matriarch of the family, the mother of one son, a grandmother and a “Fairy” godmother.
The family and knowing who you are is the foundation and the springboard into the world of success. As has been said, “Without roots the Tree cannot stand”. (African Proverb.)