ArtsNatchez honors artists

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 27, 2009

natchez — ArtsNatchez Gallery will host an exhibit and reception featuring painter Sharon Richardson and photographer Shirley Byrne, during First Friday Artist Walk, from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 2.

Richardson, born in Woodville, received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Georgia. She has exhibited her work at the Kansas Pastel Society Show, International Pastel Society Show in Lille, France, and many other venues. Her work is currently exhibited at the Mississippi Museum of Art and in corporate and private collections in the United States, Canada and Germany.

In 2002 Richardson’s life took a traumatic turn. She experienced Post Polio Syndrome, which is an incurable, neurological disease that occurs in about 40 percent of polio survivors, resulting in additional debilitating muscle loss and weakness. Richardson was not only forced to change her preferred medium from pastels to oils, but to change her normally right-handedness to left, since her left arm and hand was less affected with nerve damage than her right.

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Byrne, a photographer and Natchez native, received her bachelor of arts degree in fine arts from Mississippi College, as well as, a visual communications degree, from the Nashville State Technical Institute in Nashville, Tenn.

Byrne will be exhibiting a series of photographs entitled: “Faces and Places of the South.” Her haunting photographs of individuals emanate a purity of soul that must surely be reflected from the photographer herself; she capture a glimpse into the raw unfiltered side of humanity to which we often turn a blind eye. Byrne captures traditional southern landscapes with a new conceptual twist and turns an ordinary screen door into a study of light and shadow.