Thornell Corban was born and grew up in Warren
County just south of Vicksburg, Mississippi. She
studied art at Hinds Junior College under Professor
Louis Walsh, who instilled in her a life-long love
of art and knowledge of studio technique. Sylvia
earned a F.F.A. from the University of Southern
Mississippi, and then spent nine years teaching art
in public schools. Feeling the need to develop
further as an artist, she gave up teaching to
devote more time to painting.
Her highly realistic paintings, rendered
exclusively in watercolor, are grounded in her
close observation of, and deep love for,
her Gulf Coast home. She vividly captures on paper
the rhythms, scenes and specific details of that
unique region which stretches from the bayous of
Louisiana across Mississippi to southern
In 1992, Michel Roux of Absolut Vodka selected
one artist from each state to participate in a
nationwide program featured in USA Today. Sylvia
was commissioned as the Mississippi artist to
create a work depicting a vision of her home state.
As she puts it, "My paintings portray the essence
of the South. They evoke feelings of deja vu, and
often a touch of nostalgia.
the fall of 2000, she met and partnered with Denny
Knight. Denny, a native of Louisiana brought a new
direction for Sylvia's artwork. His expertise in
printing fabric and creating functional products
allowed Sylvia's artwork to come off of the walls
and into different parts of people's lives that her
artwork had currently not been able to reach.
Together they have created a complete line of
functional art items that extend from the garden,
to the bath and into the kitchen.