Closeup detail of “My Studio Mirror” – Self portrait by Cheryl Mann Hardin
Cheryl Mann Hardin was selected as a finalist in the Portrait Society of America, Members Only Competition in 2016 for the above painting, “My Studio Mirror” – 24″ x 30″ oil on canvas.
For nearly fifty years American artist, Cheryl Mann Hardin has dedicated her professional life to refining her definition of the commissioned portrait. Like all gifted artists Mrs. Hardin’s style has undergone the invariable changes, some of a deliberate nature and others more subconscious. Whether the portrait is rendered in stark realism or softened impressionism Mrs. Hardin never fails to capture the essence of her subject. Working from life sittings, her interpretation of the subject is more than a visual record. It will also seize the persona of the subject and infuse that tangible quality into the painting, gaining a depth and life like quality that often eludes even the most skilled artist. Few portrait artists will perform to standard on every commission they receive. Cheryl Mann Hardin has demonstrated this ability and has repeatedly received national recognition for her portraits from the National Portrait Institute and more recently from the Portrait Society of America. She is also a Juried member of the Portrait Society of Atlanta.
Mrs. Hardin began her career as an artist after graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1966. She continued her artistic training, specializing in portrait painting at the Bendell School of Art in Bradenton, Florida (1976-77) and has studied with other artists throughout her career. Among those most influential to her artistic development are Cedric and Joanette Eglie in Edgewater, Maryland. In addition to her work as a portrait artist Mrs. Hardin has worked as a commercial artist, a museum preparatory, an elementary and high school art teacher, and a muralist. She has illustrated two books and has participated in the Alabama Artist-In-Residence program.
Other works by Mrs. Hardin include a variety of artistic accomplishments ranging from a limited edition portrait poster of NASCAR racing icon Bobby Allison, large palette-knife paintings of subjects as varied as floral gardens, Italian landscapes, to a collection of fine wildlife portraits. The Wiregrass Museum of Art exhibited twenty-two oil paintings by Cheryl Mann Hardin in a solo exhibition, “The Color of Light”, presenting a diverse cross-section of her work.
Cheryl Mann Hardin started painting murals in 1993 after a friend told her about the Canadian outdoor mural project in Chermainus, British Columbia. Since then Cheryl has painted indoor and outdoor murals from Michigan to Florida for businesses, private residences, churches and for community development organizations.
Cheryl was featured on Georgia Public Television “State of the Arts” in a segment about Colquitt, Georgia’s tenth outdoor mural “Summer in the Swamp” for their Millennium Mural Project. Mrs.Hardin painted that mural while directing 125 elementary age children in assisting her. It can be viewed at http://www.gpb.org/stateofthearts/2005/06 Cheryl painted “Nuttin’ But a Will”, a second mural in Colquitt as a tribute to the Colquitt/Miller County Volunteer Fire Department.
Also, she has painted two large outdoor murals for the prestigious “Wiregrass Festival of Murals” in Dothan, Alabama. Other murals include a 5 feet by 80 feet interior mural which she painted on the ceiling of a residence in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Cheryl’s most recent mural project was painted for a church education department in 2015. The subject is Noah’s Ark, rendered in stylized realism, it spans three walls.
Though Mrs. Hardin find these mural commissions exciting and stimulating, her true passion is still the portrait. She enjoys interacting with her subjects during the portrait sittings and is equally at ease with adults or children. Her goal is to create a tangible link between the subject of the painting and the viewer of the art, instead of merely recreating a physical likeness of the subject. Mrs. Hardin’s clients are universally delighted with her work and consider her paintings among their most valued and cherished possessions. Of herself she writes, “To observe and record the sensitive characteristics of individual personalities is an intriguing and compelling force in my life.”