Creating art and teaching art skills to the community is Shirley’s second career. She hails from Northern California where for many years she worked in marketing and as a buyer for a sheet metal company.
In a bold move to redirect her life, she took of a leave of absence from work and went back to school. A community college art class assignment ended up changing the course of her life.
“We had to bring in personal photos and I had taken lots of pictures at bike rallies. My husband is an old school biker and I’ve tagged along on many bike runs. So I drew and painted from those photos.”
Capturing chrome on canvas is a very detailed, time consuming process but when her first painting won first place in a state art competition, she was hooked.
“It changed my life to tap into my ability to create artwork that can inspire a viewer,” Shirley said. “It made me realize how important art had to be in my life and all the benefits it gives my soul.”
She’s won numerous awards in California for her paintings of motorcycles on large canvases, and you’ll see many around the Spring Hill Public Library on display this month.
“Chrome reflects the environments it’s in, so really chrome tells a story within a story.” Shirley also has seen how she’s helped changed a persona many people have about bikers. “You meet lawyers and doctors at these rallies. Motorcycles are about freedom.”
Shirley also has a heart for making art education affordable and accessible and since she moved here five years ago to live by her daughter, she’s been teaching extensively in Spring Hill at both the Longview Recreation Center and the Spring Hill Learning Center.
Many of her teen students have taken off on their own after she taught them to draw Manga, Japanese-style comic figures. She teaches the basic drawing principles that are unique to designing these big-eyed characters. Some of her manga drawings are also on display in the Library this month.
Shirley will give a free workshop to teach the introductory steps to drawing Manga on Saturday, February 11 at 1 p.m. at the Library.
The Spring Hill Public Library is located at 144 Kedron Pkwy. in Spring Hill. The Library serves all those that live and work in either Maury or Williamson County. The library offers books, audio books, movies, WiFi, computer usage, research internet databases, and is a great place to connect with others in the community. For more information you can call 931-486-2932 or go to www.springhilllibrary.org.
Additional Info. re. Shirley Barker
Board Member of the Arts Council of Williamson County, Franklin, TN
Director of the Spring Hill Arts Learning Center,
Spring Hill, TN
Member of the Spring Hill Arts Center, Spring Hill, TN
Member of the Middle Tennessee Decorative Artist Association, Nashville, TN
Shirley may be contacted at email@example.com or 931-490-6807
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