Shirley has been involved in the arts most of her life and holds a BFA in painting from Wayne State University and her Masters in Art Education. She taught art in the Chippewa Valley School district and part-time at Wayne State University. Shirley has received numerous awards for her work, including the Gold Medal of Honor for Best of Show at the Scarab Club, Michigan Watercolor Society, Memorial Award, 2005; and 2012; 1st, 2nd and 3rd – Michigan State Fair, 2000 – 08. Best of Show in the Macomb County Prestige Exhibit; the Blue Water Art Fair; Algonac Art Exhibit; Art in the Park; Le Ste. Clair Art Fair, Thumb Area Artist; Prestige Art Exhibit and many more. Her work was also included in the Michigan Annual Exhibit, 2002 – 2018 Michigan Watercolor Exhibit Awards, Silver Medal Exhibit, and many others too numerous to mention.