About

Autumn 2021

I am a multi-discipline artist working in media ranging from oil and acrylic paints to air dry clay and assemblage. I currently work from a home studio to create my art and partner with various organizations across NE Georgia and the metro Atlanta area.
I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration. After spending the last 17 years primarily focused on my family, I am beginning to pursue my art full time. My new portrait series focuses on the concepts of self-image and female empowerment. I hope to pair these concepts with art therapy practices like Positivity Journaling and narrative painting to help women in my community tell their stories and embrace their unique beauty.

I use a narrative painting process to tell the stories of unconventional women who are overcoming trauma, pursuing their dreams, and building a better future. They aren’t super models or celebrities. They’re real women with the passion and perseverance to do extraordinary things.

In my conversations with women in my community over the last few years, I have noticed a trend of women feeling dismissed or unseen by the purveyors of popular culture. They see their worth as being dependent on their appearance or willingness to fit into manufactured roles. Their stories have reshaped my previously symbolic concept for this portrait series to include relatable experiences.

Those who are assertive and self-assured are viewed as aggressive and confrontational, where the same behavior would be viewed as ambitious or competitive in a male contemporary. Those who are beautiful are treated as chattels, incapable of intellectual acumen. Athletic women lack femininity. The stereotypes are myriad, but the overall perception is of a paper doll simplicity where multi-dimensionality is the reality and the beauty that each of us possess.

In my portrait series, I am celebrating the unique beauty of real women with real accomplishments. I am attempting to tell their stories in a way that helps the viewer empathize with their hardships and celebrate their achievements. In my celebration of the wonderful diversity of these women, I am attempting to shift the public narrative from a sterile, commercial idea of beauty toward a realistic aesthetic that celebrates the whole woman.

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Professional Summary

Awards

2012 Reflections, Atlanta Branch National League of American Pen Women Juried Show, 3rd Place

2015 Quinlan Members Show Honorable Mention

2018 Georgia Art League Show 2nd Place

2019 Hoschton Heritage Arts Council Annual Juried Show 2nd Place

2021 Hudgens Center Members Show Purchase Prize

Events

2009 – 2011 Art Papers Annual Gala, Participating Artist and donor

2010 Music and Me Juried Show @ Tannery Row Artist Colony, Buford

The Joy of Six Juried Show @ Tannery Row Artist Colony, Buford

2011 2nd Annual Glenn Pelham Foundation donor

2014 & 2015 Painted Backdrops and Event Volunteer for Jackson County Arts Council Annual Gala

2014 & 2015 Folk to Fine Arts Juried Show Participating Artist and Volunteer

2014 – 2016 Family Outdoor Expo Annual Human Trafficking Awareness and Fundraising Event, Participating Artist and Donor

2014 – 2019 Quinlan Visual Arts Center Annual Gala, Participating Artist and donor

2015 Quinlan Visual Arts Center Annual Gala Featured Artist

2016 & 2018 Quinlan Visual Arts Center Juried Folk Art Show Participating Artist

2017 Jackson County Arts Council Juried Art Show and Gala Participating Artist

2019 Hudgens Center Annual Gala, donating artist

2019 Sugar Hill Arts Commission Juried Show Participating Artist

2020 Monroe Walton Center for the Arts Regional Juried Show Participating Artist

2021 OCAF Cut & Paste: The Art of Collage and Assemblage Participating Artist

2021 Mural Competition, Duckin’ Fabulous Award @ Strange Duck Brewing

2022 Solo Show @ Strange Duck Brewing (February)

2022 Wild Woman Portraits @ Quinlan Visual Arts Center Winter Exhibitions (December)

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Illustration The Savannah College of Art and Design 1997

Public Art: Atlanta Intown Art Box Project 2012

Jackson County Chamber Geocache Project Organizer and Participating Artist 2014

Commerce, GA Scarecrow Photo Booth @ Downtown Development Authority 2014

Gainesville, GA Vision 2030 Public Mural Project on the Greenway 2016

Commerce, GA Water Walk Protect; painted fire hydrants for Jackson County Arts Council and City Hall 2017

Atlanta, GA Button Art.org Installation sponsored by Spring Hall Event Venue at 7130 Buford Hwy NE, Suite A

Boards: Jackson County Arts Council 2013 – 2016

Folk to Fine Arts Festival, Commerce, GA 2014 & 2015

Workshops: Positivity Journaling, Mixed Media Techniques, Paper Clay Sculpture

Mentoring: Elementary Level Art Class and Camps for Garden of Discovery Montessori School

Art Badge Workshops for Commerce Boy Scout Troop

Studio Apprenticeships for Foster Children

Professional Services

Commissions: fine art, portraiture, murals, illustration

Copy Writing: Artist Statements, Web Copy and Profiles, Exhibition Proposals

Consulting: Proof-Reading and Editing, Content Creation, Portfolio Development

birdlady@francesbyrd.art


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