Photo: Watercolor, “Lights in the Dark” by Betty Taylor
As I struggle to manage the overwhelming tasks associated with running a crowdfunding campaign, create art for upcoming shows, and spend time with my family I have become a little frustrated and ill-tempered. To say I have bitten off more than I can chew would be an understatement.
Yesterday was a particularly bad day for my personal outlook, until I received an email from my friend Betty out in Oregon. She’s a fellow artist who is also a patron of my art. We have worked together on several group fund-raising projects and keep track of one another’s personal progress when time allows – I have to admit that Betty is better at this than I am.
Yesterday, I received this email from Betty:
I began searching online about six years ago to find other artists who shared points of view and values that were similar to mine. Frances Byrd’s webpage popped up one day. I admit that I just kind of lurked around her pages for a while to learn about her before making my presence known. Her love of family, community, and country quickly became apparent. I have witnessed her dedication to her artwork develop over these last few years, as well as her desire to help others. She has an amazing ability to juggle multiple personal artwork tasks, community project involvement, and time for attention to her family and friends.
Frances will give you an answer to your political question and hold her own in defending her reasoning. You may not always agree with Frances’ stance, but I know she strives to recreate a world where all opinions have merit, even those that are contrary to her own. Creating discerning art that reflects her political point of view is but one part of her artwork repertoire. Her crow series is an example of beautifully striking political cautionary.
Frances is a strong voice in the fight to free those who are held captive in slave trading. She is dedicated to promoting awareness of this horrific and widespread practice rampant throughout our own country and worldwide. She creates wonderful, impactful, and thoughtful paintings to help raise funds that provide rescue of children and adults. These people have been captured and forced into deplorable practices and conditions.
Frances is a woman with strong honest values, and they are reflected in her art. She loves America and her patriotic sensibility is frequently reflected in both her fine and folk art pieces. Her iconic Lady Liberty is a favorite of mine and I treasure the original piece that has a special place on my living room wall.
Recycle, repurpose, and upscale are important words to Frances. Her use of recycled wood materials has increased considerably over the last few years. With that came her increased skill in handling woodworking tools and putting together projects of a heftier nature. Be sure to look for her folk art flag representations, especially.
Frances is professionally schooled in illustration. Most recently her songbird series shows that skill taking flight!
My friend, Frances, has asked for help with a large project she has envisioned for her town of Commerce, Georgia. bit.ly/LibertasAmericana I know that Frances is the person who can take on this task and see it through to, not the end, but the beginning of a positive “arts” direction for her community. She understands the impact that art can have when a community is actively involved. This project is timely because of the current trend to devalue the arts in our public education system. The purchase and renovation of a historic building provides not only a working space for her, but a gathering spot that nurtures the artistic growth of her community. It will become a place for art classes, community activities, and emerging artists’ studios. I know there will be continuing discussion about other uses for the space.
It might seem odd that an old lady on the west coast of the USA feels so strongly about the abilities of a young east coast woman embarking on a new adventure. I believe that positive change comes about in our country one person at a time. We find the right person to lead and new ground is broken. Change catches on and others create more momentum. Frances is a leader among us.
My bucket list now includes a trip to Commerce, Georgia, to see the product of her adventure, and meet, in person, the dynamic young woman who generates community artistic forward movement.
This blog piece has barely scratched the surface of the stuff that makes Frances who she is. Be sure to stroll through her web pages and then learn more about the crowd-funding campaign. I hope you will find it in your heart to support this project with a financial contribution.
Thanks so much Betty. Words cannot express the depth of appreciation I have for your kindness.
For those of you new to my project, you can get more information on a recent blog post:
Frances is a stay-at-home mom, community volunteer, and artist who loves all things old, living in the country and keeping chickens.