Sheri as Art, A Touching Holiday Story
We are in full-blown holiday mode and it just feels that this year seems to be moving at warp speed. Perhaps we are making up for what we were cheated out of last year due to the pandemic lockdown. Nevertheless, life is fleeting. Which is why, for me, more than ever, a photograph capturing a moment is always such a poignant and meaningful way to savor that time.
As a performer, I get to meet all sorts of people from all over the world. I am lucky enough to do what I love at some of the most beautiful venues. People often want to take videos and pictures of me and while I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, I do find it rather endearing. I’m usually the one behind the camera. Which brings me to a rather splendid holiday encounter I had that I’d like to share.
A few years ago, I was performing with my band soulRcoaster at Sarasota’s beautiful Marie Selby Gardens during their “Lights In Bloom” holiday event. This event was all too perfect for me since I’ve been known to wear fun light up shoes at my shows.
One night during a performance, I caught the eye of a rather eccentric and delightful gentleman who asked if he could take my picture. We talked for a bit, and he told me he was taken by the whole vibe of the setting, the performance and of course my light up shoes. He wanted to remember the moment and was going to commission an artist friend of his to do a painting of the photo. Admittedly, I didn’t give it too much credibility as I was certain he was just caught up in the festivities. We said goodbye and I pretty much dismissed our encounter.
That is, until months later, when I received a call from a woman who introduced herself as Marie Lacroix.
She began our conversation by apologizing in advance if she sounded like a loon. She went on to explain in the loveliest French-Canadian accent, I might add, that she is an artist working on a commissioned painting for a friend. The painting is that of a singer from a photo he had taken, and she believed that I am that singer! She told me that she found me in the most serendipitous way when a mutual friend walked into her studio while she was working on the painting and proclaimed, “That’s Sheri! I know her!”
Of course, I was both shocked and delighted, realizing that the man who took my picture all that time ago did indeed follow through on his promise! Marie was going to be hosting an intimate gathering to unveil the quirky, fun painting and thought it would be a wonderful surprise to have me there in person! I was caught off guard and very flattered. I did indeed accept her invitation! I even wore the same outfit in the photo and brought my guitar! The look on everyone’s face was priceless when they realized it was me in the painting! It was a very surreal and lovely experience to say the least!
Marie is not only a gifted artist whose work brings joy to so many, she is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet! Her downtown Sarasota studio is filled with her quirky, fun art that just brings a smile to your face! You can check out “Art By Lacroix” via her website.
But wait, there’s more.
Marie contacted me recently on behalf of her friend and she told me that while he had enjoyed the painting, he could no longer keep it and wished to gift it to me! I was overwhelmed by such generosity. After all, not everyone can say they have had their picture taken by a stranger, and then become immortalized in a painting of that photo and meet the artist AND wind up with the piece! Talk about coming full circle!
The universe will oftentimes surprise us and catch us off guard. This time it was telling me that someone was so moved by the light that he wanted to capture it and then share it. It is our responsibility to always be aware of how we may affect others.
I hope this holiday season brings you joy and that someone sees your light!
May your holidays shine bright!
Photos supplied by Sheri Nadelman