winning artwork has been selected for exhibition in over twenty museums
and commercial galleries, as well as numerous juried art
competitions. Two pieces of her work are included in the permanent
collection of the Cottonlandia Museum in Greenwood, MS. She was one of three artists
whose work was selected to represent the state of Mississippi by the
American Consulate in Taiwan. Virginia is a member of the
Mississippi Art Colony, The Montgomery (AL) Art Guild, the South
Mississippi Art Association, and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters
Society. She studied art at the University of Alabama,
the Taos Institute of Arts in New Mexico, and under a grant program
of The Alabama Council on the Arts. She is a former executive
director of the ArtsAlliance of Jackson (MS), and former program
director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.
of us has experienced that special feeling when a particular
location--at a precise moment--seems to have a special energy all its
own. Maybe it's the sheer delight we feel when the light is perfect.
Perhaps it's the way the wind makes the trees dance. Most of my work is
about the experience of that moment in time, that special place that we
want to take with us. In a world where our lives are increasingly faster
it refreshes one to find that somewhere special we can feel centered, if
only for an instant. That fleeting moment we say to ourselves, "I want
to remember this always." I try to take that experience forward in a
painting. I'm not trying to bring a special message to the
What I want is simply to re-experience those times when
something moves me in ways that words alone cannot express, and if
others may share that experience for what it means to them then I am
happy enough. We all know how easy it is to forget to pause long enough
to enjoy the little daily joys of tiny wondrous things that delight us
just with the curve of their shape, or the way their color changes in
sunlight, or the feeling of their rough surfaces when we press it
against their face. Other times I want to bring home with me the open
spaces we pass through, to create another window to a world filled with
places that deserve another look.
Shirley's paintings are from travels
to Italy, New Mexico and points in between, including several sites
throughout Mississippi and along the Gulf coast."
paintings are my way of capturing memories. They help me to
visualize scenes that caught my attention, that turned my head.
Some people grab a pencil and write down in their travel journals about
places they visited and sights they've seen. I guess my paintbrush
is doing the same thing for me."