July 2, 1943 – Feb. 5, 2019
Deirdre Shinners, a painter, interior designer and installation artist, died Feb. 5 in Elderwood at Cheektowaga after a lengthy illness. She was 75.
Born in Buffalo, the second of five children, she was the daughter of Dr. Burton M. Shinners, a neurosurgeon, and Hildegarde Fitzgerald Shinners, an English professor at the University of Buffalo. She was a graduate of Holy Angels Academy and UB, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
Working a summer job in Nantucket, Mass., she met an aspiring writer, the late Bill Hutton, who became a protege of author and literary critic Leslie Fiedler. During the time they were married, they operated Billy Ziegfeld’s, a psychedelic nightclub at Elmwood Avenue and West Utica Street in the late 1960s.
Ms. Shinners worked for Harvey and Corky Productions in the 1970s, arranging and decorating backstage areas for concerts.
Her artwork was exhibited at Hallwalls, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, where her installation, “Blue Garage Sale,” a collection of everyday objects painted blue, was shown in 1983.
She found further expression in the blue decor in the Parkside Sweet Shoppe, a fine dining restaurant at Main Street and West Oakwood Place which she owned and operated in the late 1980s with her brother, Sean. It featured blue Buffalo China, Prussian blue tables and medium blue walls.
Later she worked as an interior designer assisting Andrew Gay at the Stock Exchange, an antique store on Hertel Avenue.
“She was the soul of kindness and grace,” said her longtime friend, Peter Bergenstock.
Survivors include a son, James Donovan; three brothers, Michael, Sean and Seamus; a sister, Shannon Howe; and two granddaughters.
No funeral service is planned.