Bastrop photographer displays grief, healing in gallery
BASTROP — Sheryl Bucsanyi's photo exhibit has images of losing her home, two horses and two cats.
It's also her personal story — that from a tragedy, good can follow.
As she's done for a good portion of her life, Bucsanyi started taking photos to chronicle her loss. Her 26-photo exhibit, "There is a Light," is featured this month at the Bastrop Art Gallery, 10009 Main St.
One photo is of a bandaged cat named Kitty Cat that was burned and rescued by firefighters from September's wildfires. Bucsanyi has adopted the cat.
"Now, Kitty Cat is super healthy and makes me smile every day," said Bucsanyi.
An art and photography teacher at Bastrop High School, Bucsanyi lost to the wildfire her 5-acre spread off of Texas 21. Her her home, horse trailer, recreational vehicle and pets were burned. One horse, Pepper, died in the fire; another, Splash, died of its injuries 20 days later. Two cats also perished.
"And there was the 1968 Camaro convertible that I was restoring," she said.
The fire also consumed a collection of portraits that included musicians B.B. King and Jimmie Vaughan, former first lady Laura Bush and actor Matthew McConaughey.
She warns that some of the images are graphic, especially of Splash, the horse that died a few days after the fire. The photos show the injured horse in recovery. "Yes, it may be hard to look at photos of Splash, but that is art," she said. "It is suppose to evoke emotion. You sometimes take photos to release pain. It's a way of healing for me."
Bucsanyi said losing Splash strengthened her.
"Splash ran through the fire and fought for her life for 20 days. When she died, it tore me up because she was my symbol of strength and hope. But then I realized that she helped me be a stronger person," she said.