Sherry Lynn Sparks has spent her life in the world of art doing what she loves best, beginning when she was just 11 years old.

Sherry Lynn Sparks has spent her life in the world of art doing what she loves best, beginning when she was just 11 years old.
"That's when a friend of our family, a professor at Stetson University, taught me how to do my first oil painting," she recounted.
Since then, she has become an accomplished artist and photographer, and now she has been named the director of The Chamber Gallery.
The newly-formed gallery, located in the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce building on North Main St., held its third art show on Friday night, Dec. 14. The theme this night was "The Ladies of Art," and it featured the work of six female artists from the area.
"Our first show was in August, and we've been drawing some nice crowds," Sherry related. "We usually have a mix of photography and artwork, so there's always a nice selection and all at reasonable prices."
She said she wants to keep the artwork affordable, especially in light of the economy, while providing substantially reduced costs to the artists themselves.
"The fee for artists to get their work shown in most galleries is between $75 and $100, but here it runs as little as $5," she explained. "I've also been featuring the work of students and young people at our shows, because I know how difficult it can be for artists who are just starting out to get into the galleries."
In fact, Sherry said she wants to start doing shows, possibly as soon as this upcoming spring, featuring artwork and photography created exclusively by students from various schools. She noted that she would like to start with schools in the Carbondale area and then branch out to schools in other parts of the region.
"I really want to give everyone an opportunity to allow their work to be shown and sold," she offered. "I've been an artist for 40 years, and it's been a lifelong dream to have a gallery like this where we can do that kind of thing."
"Eventually I'd also like to have classes taught here for any newcomers who want to learn the basics about art, as well as for those who are already creating but who want to grow as a working artist," she added.
It's a very ambitious agenda, but that's why Sherry was tapped to head the new gallery — well, that and her own extraordinary talents as an artist along with her very impressive background and credentials. Among other highlights, she worked for seven years as apprentice to Robert Stark of Union Dale at Susquehanna Studio.
"I never had any schooling as an artist, it's just a God-given talent," she responded when asked to comment on all that she has achieved in the art world these past four decades, and all she looks forward to doing as director of The Chamber Gallery.
"Now I want to do whatever I can to help foster and nurture other artists," she explained, "to help them become all that they can through their own unique talents."
For more information on the gallery, contact Sherry by calling her at (570) 756-2626 or via e-mail at