Originally from Hudson Heights, Quebec, Shelley Freeman first studied fine arts and French literature at York University in Toronto, before beginning a long career as a social worker specializing in psychogeriatrics. After moving to Montreal in 1979, her professional obligations did not prevent her from simultaneously pursuing artistic activities. In 1999, she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from Concordia University and joined the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV).
In 2003, Shelley received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to create artworks on the theme of emptiness in underground spaces such as caves, abandoned mines and tunnels. To date she has exhibited more than 200 artworks on this theme. While still continuing her research on underground spaces, Shelley is currently exploring the dimension of depth as observed underwater. Her paintings figure in public and private collections across Canada, and in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Shelley has been a board member of RAAV since 2016, and is now RAAV’s representative on the board of CARFAC (Canadian Artists' Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens). She also serves as a volunteer for cultural events in the community.