Throughout Cheairs' long career her works have morphed through abstraction and narration, using both landscape and figures. The constant has been her impeccably glazed and highly stylized compositions. Her sources of inspiration include folk art, Regionalism and the abstract elements of origami. "Figuring out how to juxtapose different ideas", states Cheairs, "finding their connective thread, and constructing them into a believable place is both a challenge and reward in my painting process." The result of this process finds the viewer in Arcadia - an untouched and unspoiled land, one where the body and spirit are renewed..
The interaction between abstract and realistic elements is evident in the sharp contrast of flat color and the artist's use of perspective to create depth. "I think this abstracted reality allows me to search for visual, rather than narrative solutions for the composition, ultimately freeing me to get lost in the act of painting."
"These works may appear to be narrative, but I am not interested in telling a specific story. I am interested in exploring the process that creates these stories - the connections made between imagination, spirit, history, and concrete reality. My intention is to create a world of metaphors that are at once intimate and universal. My hope is that my paintings will communicate to viewers on a metaphysical level."
After receiving her BFA from the Memphis College of Art in 1980 and her MFA in 2007 from the University of Memphis, Cheairs has since matured into an established member of the Memphis art community. With over thirty years behind her, Cheairs is dedicated more than ever to refining her practice while maintaining her position as founder and director of the Flicker Street Studio in Memphis. The artist has participated in several exhibitions across the country as well as gained recognition through publications like Architectural Digest, ArtForum, Memphis Business Journal, and The Commercial Appeal.
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