Sylvia 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 Alabama.
In 1992, Michel Roux of Absolut Vodka selected one artist from each state to participate in a nationwide program featured inUSA 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."