In her abstract sculptural paintings, Shelley Gilchrist explores line, form and color. At present she creates constructions inspired by the perennial struggle of many artists (herself included) to write the often-requested artist statement about their work for an exhibit or proposal. Seemingly random color combinations are present in all her work, used to create a sense of play. The irregular designs project energy with diverging angles, always resisting equilibrium.
She works in the mediums of acrylic and encaustic, and has received numerous awards at Midwest and East Coast exhibits. The recent book Encaustic Art in the 21st Century includes her work. As well as being a member of Chicago Sculpture International, she founded the professional group FUSEDChicago, of which she is president emerita.