Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Retiree becomes award-winning photographer with help form Clearwater group

A retiree who has never taken a single photography class is now an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in iPad apps and displayed at the Tampa Museum of Art.

She got her start with help from a Clearwater photography group.

Throughout this month, Sherry Williamson's photos will be showcased in the debut Artist of the Month exhibit at Beck Gallery in Lutz.

"I always find myself stopping to get a picture," she said. "Wherever I go, I see the potential for a photo."

A resident of Florida for more than 30 years, Williamson, 65, finds her primary inspiration in the beauty and novelty of tropical landscapes. She has shot everything from the beaches of the Bahamas to the Dade City Steeplechase, from a roadside watermelon stand in Zephyrhills to the natural settings of Lake Park in Lutz.

"Taking photos out on the landscape of nature is like meditation to me," she said.

A retired executive who worked with companies that ranged from Kmart to JPMorgan Chase, Williamson originally considered photography to be a casual hobby, one that she shared early in life with her father, Lester.

"He was big on nature," said the Ohio native, "and when we visited Florida he got amazing shots of hibiscus and other flowers."

When Williamson retired five years ago, she found that she was able to devote much more time to her lifelong interest. She posted some of her work online, where it caught the attention of noted Clearwater photographer Frank Planes.

"He told me that I had the eye for photography," she said. "And I said, 'No, I don't.' "

Nonetheless, Williamson took Planes' advice to join Clearwater's Photographic Art Society and contributed her work to the society's judged exhibits in Clearwater.

"I started setting goals for my photos," she said. "I wanted to get a People's Choice Award and a Judge's Award. And I wanted to make my first sale."

Williamson accomplished all of these goals at the society's judged shows. In addition, her work has won an honorable mention in the documentary category at the Tampa Museum of Art's "open call," and she received first place and honorable mention honors in the 2010 Kelby Photo Walk in Palm Harbor.

Her work has been displayed at some Jewish community centers, Oldsmar City Hall and the West Tampa Center for the Arts. And several of her photos are incorporated in the interactive iPad/iPhone app "Puzzle Falls" and the iPad app ArtBook Tampa Bay.

As Williamson's work appears in more and more places, she continues to seek different sources of artistic inspiration. From the classically designed shops of downtown Dade City to the boat docks of Tarpon Springs, she seeks to capture Florida life through her lens.

"She's got that talent," said Tana Brackins, owner of Beck Gallery in Lutz. "She's got great composition, and you can really tell the feelings behind her work. Her images stick in your mind."

.Fast facts

At the gallery

Photography by Sherry Williamson will be displayed throughout August at the Beck Gallery, 1720 Land O'Lakes Blvd. in Lutz. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call Beck Gallery at (813) 949-6557.

Retiree becomes award-winning photographer with help form Clearwater group 08/09/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012 7:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  4. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  5. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.