Natchez mansion hosting art exhibit

Published 12:02 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

NATCHEZ —“Everyday Beauty of Elms Court” is the title of Natchez artist Sharon Richardson’s upcoming exhibit of miniature landscapes of the grounds and gardens of the historic Natchez mansion.

For a third year, Richardson has explored the ever-changing splendor of Elms Court through the seasons. Six of the oil paintings are snow scenes painted after last winter’s storms imbued Elms Court’s grounds with a fleeting charm not often experienced.

This body of work will be displayed at a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Elms Court, at 542 John R. Junkin Drive in Natchez. The remaining paintings will be available through the end of December by appointment by calling 601-445-5431. Marvin McDonald will provide music for the reception on Elms Court’s baby grand piano. The public is invited.

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The unique partnership between Richardson and Elms Court owner, Anne MacNeil, began in the autumn of 2011. The brilliance of the Lycoris, or Surprise Lilies, sparkling in full bloom along the driveway bedazzled Richardson, and she knew she had to paint them. MacNeil wanted an artist who could express the beauty of the landscape that surrounds her there every day and create something to share with others.

One of the most outstanding historic suburban estates in Natchez, Elms Court is located on a lovely 160-acre parcel. The two-story center portion of the Greek Revival structure was constructed in 1837, with the wings and cast iron grillwork added in the 1850s.

Originally right-handed, Richardson was forced to paint left-handed more than a decade ago, due to the effects from Post Polio Syndrome, a muscle weakening condition affecting many polio survivors. In her studio on North Pearl Street, she begins painting each day at 4:30 a.m.

“I’m able to paint for 20-minutes at a time, and then must rest an equal amount of time, so I start early in order to paint two hours before noon without becoming over-fatigued,” she said. “On a good day, I can add another hour’s work in the afternoon.”

Her work is available in Jackson at Brown’s Fine Art, in New Orleans at Carol Robinson Gallery, and in Birmingham at the Atchison Gallery. Her website is

For more information about the reception, please call 601-445-5431.