My favorite part about the Metrolina Antiques fair in Charlotte NC this weekend was sure to be my conversation with Folk Artist Cher Shaffer. I was immediately captured by the hundreds of pieces of artwork peppering the booth. As I was sifting through some works on paper I asked the woman tending the booth where the art came from. She blew me away when she introduced herself as the artist of all of these pieces. There were hundreds! I asked her if she was trained or not and she pulled out a book to show me a nice quote that she is well known for! “When people ask me if I am a trained artist, I have to laugh, I’m not a trained artist, I’m barely civilized.”
Here’s an excerpt from a bio on outsider-folk-art.org
In 1978 with no formal training, Cher began transferring her memories to canvas. It was a significant factor in healing her grief over the loss of her mom. As in the case of happy childhoods our memories tend to be tinted with a hint of fantasy. Her early works are depictions of church gatherings, warm holidays, festive celebrations and the everyday chores of life on a rural farm. They are idyllic and flavored by the innocence of youth. Cher’s work developed and began a departure from these traditional folk art scenes into true fantasy interpretations. Electric color with smooth graceful lines evolved.
A large collection of Folk & Outsider Art was gifted to the local Art Museum here in Hickory, NC by local collectors Dr. Allen and Mrs. Barry Huffman. I was there and I had the pleasure of working on the marketing for the first of four exhibits in a series that introduced their gift to the Museum. It was through the Huffmans that I came to love and appreciate this art that is so important to our region in the SouthEast.
Cher and I talked about her move to Ashe County, NC and the Outsider Art festivals in the region. We also talked about the need for a great festival here in North Carolina. It was such a pleasant visit and I really thank her for talking with me about her art and what its like to travel around with it and meet the people that want it in their homes!
You can get to know more about Cher Shaffer through her online presence:
MySpace and Facebook
Please contact her directly if you are interested in available works.
HomeGrown & Handmade IV – CONFLUENCE is on exhibit now at HMA. Thanks for playing,
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Wow…really interesting and thought provoking art. I may have to indulge…
Tricia – Avolli
I’m sure that Cher would be thrilled. She’s such a nice lady. I get the feeling that she really enjoys meeting new people.
You should definitely contact her to let her know that you saw it here and that you enjoyed it. Her email address:
[email protected] dot com
Cher’s work is beautiful, just goes to show you, a formal art education isn’t necessary to produce amazing art. Keep it up Cher!!!
Thank you for the inclusion on this blog.
Sunday, I will be at the Big Crafty, in Ashville, Pack Place(Ashville Art Museum), along with 100 other artist and independent craft producers. The site for more information is http://www.thebigcrafty.com/
come out and see this show if you can. Exciting original, and a great example of why Ashville has such a wonderful reputation nationally in the arts.