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commented on Mary Shirley, Leading Art Collector, Has Died
Mary and Jon gave me one of my first major commissions when I was working with rugs as my art form. It was a intimidating at first because she said I could do whatever I wanted -- complete artistic freedom! I'd never had that before with a commission. And they didn't stick the rugs in a bedroom, they put them right out there in the main gallery of their home. I not only lived off of this commission for a year, but it propelled me to the next level of my career. Even though the Shirley's are known for their blue chip art collection, Mary was also a patron to local, much lesser-known artists. And she could've been a snob with all that good taste and money but, like many have noted here, she was as down-to-earth as they come.