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!
HomeGrown & Handmade IV – CONFLUENCE is on exhibit now at HMA. Thanks for playing,
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