Verner Award recipient Mary Whyte releases portrait book
We the People hits just in time for Veterans Day
Internationally acclaimed watercolor artist Mary Whyte, a 2013 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the arts, has a poignant new collection of watercolor portraits being released just in time for Veterans Day this coming Monday.
We the People: Portraits of American Veterans
, is just available through University of South Carolina Press
. The collection of watercolor portraits of military veterans from each of the 50 states: men and women from all walks of life and every branch of the military. This moving tribute by Whyte captures the dedication, responsibility, and courage of these true patriots, instilling in us a greater sense of gratitude for their willingness to sacrifice their own lives to protect the hard-earned freedom we all enjoy.
Mary Whyte is a Charleston based artist and author whose watercolor paintings have earned international recognition. Her works have been exhibited in galleries and museums and featured in publications nationally and internationally. Whyte is the author of five books including Working South
and Down Bohicket Road
. She is the recipient of the Portrait Society of America’s Gold Medal and the Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest honor in the arts.
CBS "Sunday Morning" viewers will get to see an interview with Whyte this coming Sunday, and she is to appear Thursday, Nov. 14 on SCETV's "Palmetto Scene."
An exhibition of the 50 portraits is running through Dec. 22 at City Gallery in Charleston. The Post and Courier called the collection "a feat of artistry." It will go on a national tour in the new year.
[caption id="attachment_42649" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
"Family," single mother, watercolor on paper, 29 x 27.5 inches, 2018. Tanya, Hanahan, SC, Marines E-4, 2006-2009[/caption]
New book takes dogs in literature for a walk
Furman librarian Jeffrey Makala co-edits anthology
Jeffrey Makala, Furman University special collections librarian and university archivist at the James B. Duke Library, has co-edited a new book about dogs in literature.
The book, “In Dogs We Trust: An Anthology of American Dog Literature,” is co-edited by Jacob F. Rivers III
and published by the University of South Carolina Press. A book signing event is set for Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-noon at M. Judson Booksellers in downtown Greenville.
University of South Carolina Press offers this description of “In Dogs We Trust”:
“‘In Dogs We Trust’ is a grand anthology that celebrates the many sterling virtues of the canine species. Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years as working partners. By the 19th century, their role expanded to companions. American dog literature reflects this gradual but dramatic shift that continues even today. Our household dogs are quite literally closer than ever to us: sleeping in our beds, getting dressed in Halloween costumes, and serving as emotional support companions.
“The first comprehensive anthology of American dog literature, ‘In Dogs We Trust’ features stories, anecdotes and poetry from periodicals dating from the 19th to the early 20th century. By mining the vast American literary archive of this time, Rivers and Makala reveal the mystique and magic of the human-canine relationship and what they believe is one of the best connections humans have to the mysteries of the natural world.”
Rivers is the director for the Office of Veterans Services at the University of South Carolina and a teacher in the Department of English. He is the author of “Cultural Values in the Southern Sporting Narrative” and “Early Southern Sports and Sportsmen: 1830-1910.”
Apart from his roles as special collections librarian and university archivist at Furman, Makala is owner of Two Terriers Press. He has written about 19th century American literature and book history in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America; Literature & History; Printing History; and The Oxford Companion to the Book. He is also an editor for The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP News).
U of SC Press celebrates the life and work of Boyd Saunders
The University of South Carolina Press has recently published A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH: THE NARRATIVE ART OF BOYD SAUNDERS, by Thomas Dewey II with a Foreword by Charles R. Mack.
Event TODAY at U of S.C. Thomas Cooper Library, 4:30 p.m., Columbia
A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH is a celebration of the prolific artist's heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. It is the first comprehensive examination of the life and art of Boyd Saunders, one of America’s premier printmakers. In this celebration of an enduring and widely acclaimed career as an artist, Thomas Dewey II chronicles Saunders’s work not only as a printmaker, but also as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, author, educator, amateur musician, and sometimes horseman. With great care Dewey exposes the common thread that runs through Saunders’s visual expressions: his intriguing tales that reveal his heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South.
Dewey has captured Saunders’s life story through intensive research as well as via a series of interviews with the artist over several years. Details of Saunders’s early life on a West Tennessee farm and his family’s long attachment to the land document a profound influence on his life, outlook, and art. But Saunders was also moved by literature—namely that of William Faulkner, whom he met while earning a master’s of fine art at the University of Mississippi. Saunders credits Faulkner with inspiring much of his work, demonstrated in his Spotted Horses, a limited volume of lithographs illustrating Faulkner’s short story of the same name, which was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 1989.
Now a distinguished professor emeritus of the University of South Carolina, Saunders founded its Art Department’s printmaking program as well as a southern printmaker’s organization called the Southern Graphics Council. In the more than forty years since its founding the organization, now called SGC International, it has grown well beyond its southern borders and now serves twenty-five hundred members worldwide.
A View from the South features more than 120 color images showcasing the themes, ideas, and techniques Saunders has used in his paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. His art is exhibited throughout the world and is included in many private and public collections, including the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington, D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China.
A foreword is provided by Charles R. Mack, professor emeritus of art history at the University of South Carolina.
Thomas Dewey II is a faculty emeritus associate professor of art history at the University of Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dewey has published widely in professional journals and penned an entry, “Audubon in Mississippi,” in The Mississippi Encyclopedia.
On March 14 Boyd Saunders will be celebrated by the University Libraries and the University South Carolinians Society in a 4:30 p.m. event at the Thomas Cooper Library, where Boyd Saunders will show a "mini-retrospective" and discuss "The Storyteller's Art."
Pat Conroy to be celebrated at public memorial event
From The Beaufort Gazette
Article by Stephen Fastenau; photo by Todd Bennett - KRT
[caption id="attachment_26272" align="alignright" width="250"] The late Pat Conroy is shown with his wife Cassandra King[/caption]
Fans and friends of late Beaufort author Pat Conroy will have another chance to say goodbye next month.
Conroy will be celebrated with a public memorial at 5 p.m. May 14 in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Conroy’s wife, Cassandra King, as well as friends and fellow writers Bernie Schein, Ellen Malphrus, Patti Callahan Henry, John Warley and historian Walter Edgar are expected to attend and participate. Singer Marlena Smalls will perform some of Conroy’s favorite songs.
Conroy died March 4 at age 70 following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Planning for the public memorial began about the time of his funeral.
People who weren’t able to make the funeral or stayed away fearing the large crowd will now have another setting to remember Conroy, said University of South Carolina Press director Jonathan Haupt, who worked closely with Conroy through his Story River Books imprint and helped organize the memorial.
“Certainly the need has not gone away,” Haupt said. “The loss still seems raw and new for a lot of people.”
The best-selling novelist will also be recognized with the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival, held Oct. 20-23 this year in Beaufort.
The schedule for the festival should be complete in the next few days, Haupt said. After a successful days-long celebration for Conroy’s 70th birthday this past fall, organizers decided to continue the event.
The lineup looks to be as much a celebration of Conroy as it is a nod to the Southern writing and novelists he worked to foster.
“He was a very generous person,” USC Beaufort Center for the Arts director Bonnie Hargrove said.
As opposed to the weekend-long celebration in the fall that will feature a full slate of fellow writers and family members, the list of presenters for the May memorial needed to be short.
Haupt wanted people who could speak directly of what Conroy meant to his friends and fans and keep the program within about an hour. All the participants were willing, he said.
Warley is Conroy’s friend, author and former classmate at The Citadel. Conroy met Malphrus during a trip to Maine, pushed her to finish her book “Untying the Moon” and was there as Malphrus co-chaired his birthday festival last year.
Callahan Henry was also a participant in the birthday festival and is a fellow best-selling author.
“He crossed that wide river and with him he took so much light, so much brightness, a brokenness that he turned to beauty,” she wrote on her Facebook page after Conroy’s death. “The world is better for having him and dimmer without him.”
Any fear of the outdoor memorial becoming too somber should be erased when Conroy’s longtime friend and noted jokester Schein begins to speak.
Schein was fond of telling people he actually wrote Conroy’s books, once told Conroy the president wanted the author to visit the White House and caused Conroy to dodge calls from Barbara Streisand — fearing a Schein prank — when she wanted to turn his “Prince of Tides” into a movie.
“I think we’re all still mourning in our own way, but there is a need to laugh and celebrate and remember,” Haupt said.
Inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival to honor traditions and forge new ground
Note: One Columbia for Arts and History received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Grant to help support the Deckle Edge Literary Festival.
The inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival, taking place Feb. 19 – 21 in Columbia, S.C., features readings, book signings, panel presentations, exhibitors, writers’ workshops, activities for children and young adult readers, and a range of other literary events for many interests and all ages. Events take place in or near downtown Columbia, and many events are free.
A sample of events:
Friday, Feb. 19
- 1 - 2 p.m.: Top 20 "Outside the Box" Book Marketing Ideas, Shari Stauch, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
- 2 - 3 p.m.: Plotting Strategies for Short Stories, Novels, and Plays, $30 per person, Paula Gail Benson, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
- 7 p.m.: Opening Night Celebration - Concert and Burlesque Show, Columbia Museum of Art, $10
Saturday, Feb. 20
- 9 - 10 a.m.: S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Workshop for Kids, free, presented by The Watering Hole Poetry Organization, Tapp's Art Center
- 11 a.m. - noon: Hub City Press Executive Director Betsy Teter moderates a panel of First Novel Prize winners Matt Matthews, James E. McTeer and Susan Tekulve, Columbia Museum of Art
- 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Conversation with Southern Superstar Mary Alice Monroe, Columbia Museum of Art
Sunday, Feb. 21
View the full schedule online
- 9 - 10:15 a.m.: Overcoming Creative Anxiety: 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Writing & Remain Calm, Cassie Premo-Steele, $30 per person, location TBA
- 1 - 2:30 p.m.: Writing and Healing with Ed Madden, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Seibels House
- 3 - 4 p.m.: IndieSC Launch - Calling all indie authors and aspiring writers in S.C! Presentation of free self-publishing platform by the South Carolina State Library, Columbia Museum of Art
Read a Free Times article about the festival.
While Deckle Edge has its roots in the storied tradition of South Carolina’s literary life, festival organizers are committed to forging new ground and hope to appeal to regional and national audiences while remaining a community-focused effort. Festival partners make up an extensive network of South Carolina literary and cultural organizations, including Richland Library
, the University of South Carolina Press
, Hub City Writers Project
, the S.C. Center for Children’s Books & Literacy
, Ed Madden and the Columbia Office of the Poet Laureate
, South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth
, the Low Country Initiative for Literary Arts
, Jasper Magazine
, Richland County schools, and others.
Deckle Edge is built on the strong foundation of the South Carolina Book Festival, a project of the Humanities CouncilSC
, which announced the festival’s dissolution this past summer. The Humanities CouncilSC
is now actively pursuing a variety of year-round statewide literary initiatives and has been supportive of the plans for Deckle Edge as a new literary event to be hosted in Columbia.
“The S.C. Book Festival was a tremendous gift to readers and writers in the South, and we’re grateful to the Humanities CouncilSC
for sharing their expertise with us as we create something new,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Darien Cavanaugh. “We would not have been able to move so quickly on launching Deckle Edge without their guidance and good will.”
In addition to local talent, the festival will highlight a handful of New York Times
bestselling authors from the Carolinas, beloved favorites from past S.C. Book Festivals, and many voices not previously heard from at South Carolina literary events.
“This is Columbia’s literary festival,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Annie Boiter-Jolley, “but it’s also joining the larger conversation about literature of and in the South. We look forward to sharing our vision with writers and readers, and to hearing from them as to what Deckle Edge might become in future years.”
Via: Deckle Edge Literary Festival
Mary Alice Monroe to judge third SC High School Writing Contest
Deadline for students to submit entries is Nov. 2.
New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe will judge the third annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest. Monroe, an Isle of Palms resident and noted conservationist, has written nearly 20 novels, most set in coastal South Carolina and many reflecting the importance of the relationships between people and places. She follows novelist Pat Conroy and South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth as judge of the contest, which is presented by the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Press.
“We’re excited and honored to have Ms. Monroe as our grand judge,” said Steven Lynn, dean of the South Carolina Honors College and founder of the contest. “We know these acclaimed writers have busy schedules, and for one as celebrated as Mary Alice Monroe to take time to read the work of young writers tells me she’s interested in the future of our state.”
The topic from previous years remains the same this year: “How should we improve the state of South Carolina?” High school juniors and seniors can respond in 750 words or less in the genre of their choice—poetry, fiction, prose, essay, or drama. Monetary prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third-place winners, and USC Press will publish all the writings by the winners and finalists in Writing South Carolina: Selections from the Third High School Writing Contest under its Young Palmetto Books imprint. Monroe will write the foreword.
“My personal motto is ‘Make a Difference,’” Monroe said. “The topic speaks to me because it encourages all of us to consider ways in which we can give back to our community.”
The program includes a second round in which finalists will gather at USC in Columbia for an impromptu writing contest. They’ll also hear remarks from Monroe, tour the university’s library collections, and receive books signed by South Carolina authors. Monroe will judge the finalists’ submitted and impromptu work.
Winners and finalists will receive cash awards. First-place winners receive $1,000; second-place winners receive $500; third-place winners receive $250. The first-place winner in the senior class receives the Walter Edgar Award, funded by SCHC alumnus Thad Westbrook and named for the well-known USC professor and South Carolina historian. The second-place winner receives the Dorothy S. Williams Award, which is funded by an anonymous donor and named for the late public school educator in Anderson County.
“I’ve entered contests, both as a student and as a professional,” Monroe said. “It’s part of the journey of a writer. I’ve won, placed with honorable mention, and of course, did not place. It’s exciting—a rush—to win, of course, a validation and a time to celebrate. Not to win or place can be a burn, but once the pain passes, I go over the scores and critiques carefully. A good judge or critique points out what the writer did well, not only what the writer did wrong. There is a lesson in that too, and getting good feedback is essential to fostering good writing and good thinking.”
Deadline for students to submit entries is Nov. 2. Students can find out more about the contest and how to email their work here: http://schc.sc.edu/writing-contest.
Via: S.C. Honors College
Poets and writers invited to submit work to Fall Lines – a literary convergence
Poets and writers are invited to submit previously unpublished poetry, essays, short fiction and flash fiction to volume two of Fall Lines -- a literary convergence. While the editors hope to attract the work of poets and writers from the Carolinas and the Southeastern U.S., acceptance of work is not dependent upon residence. Submissions will be accepted through March 1, 2015.
Fall Lines is a literary journal based in Columbia, S.C. and presented by Jasper Magazine in partnership with the University of South Carolina Press, Muddy Ford Press, Richland Library and One Columbia. With a single, annual publication, Fall Lines is distributed in lieu of Jasper Magazine’s regularly scheduled summer issue.
Please limit short fiction to 2,000 words or less; flash fiction to 350 – 500 words per submission; essays to 1,200 words; and poetry to three pages (Times New Roman 12 pt.)
While you are invited to enter up to five items, each item should be sent individually as a single submission. Please include with each submission a cover sheet stating your name, e-mail address, and U.S. Post Office address.
There is a $3 reading fee for each short story; for up to three poems; for up to three flash fiction submissions; or for each essay.
Submit work online at https://jaspermagazine.submittable.com/submit.
Publication in Fall Lines will be determined by a panel of judges. Accepted authors will be notified in May 2015, with a publication date in June 2015. Accepted authors will receive two copies of the journal.
Verner Award recipient Mary Whyte “paints pennies”
2013 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award recipient Mary Whyte recently talked about her work and the current state of the art market for "5 Questions with Ashley Byrd" for South Carolina Radio Network.
(Listen to Whyte’s explanation of painting pennies – 56 sec.)
Mary Whyte is recognized around the world for her lifelike watercolors depicting working-class Southerners, Gullah Geechee culture and people she described as “pennies” who are overlooked by too many of us.
Whyte is the 2013 recipient of South Carolina’s highest arts honor, The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award.
The Johns Island-based artist is the subject of a biographical collection, her third book of work published by USC press and authored by Martha Severens, curator of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston.
Ashley Byrd: You painted in oils, and taught yourself a different medium, watercolor. How in the world did you do that?
Mary Whyte: I started painting when I was 16 in watercolor….and I was the one young person in the class.
Back then, there certainly wasn’t the internet and access to You Tube and videos on how to do anything. There weren’t any watercolor instructors back then. I think I’ve only had two or three teachers ever in watercolor. But I did go to art school and of course there the training is mostly in drawing and oil –and watercolor traditionally has never been seen as a real mainstay in art; it’s always been viewed as a lightweight, a preparatory medium.
The serious art schools, academies in Europe just never really teach watercolor. So it was really just through going to museums and studying the works of the masters that I painted with it. I always loved it, just the way it goes down, the sparkles it leaves behind on the paper.
I think we learn by simply doing something over and over again.
Byrd: Tell me about the use of light, a realistic light in your paintings:
Whyte: As a teacher I tell my students that it is light that describes form, and it’s how light sits on a surface or rakes across a surface or gets lost in a fluffy surface, that describes what we are looking at. But it’s more than that. To me, light is also magic. and it can really create the mood to a painting, where the light is coming from, whether it’s dim light or noontime light, backlighting. I think it can really set that stage and it is really important to me as it is to most artists.
Byrd: In your compilation of working people, these paintings of real people are not too precious, not too stereotypical, but ordinary people and just beautiful. How do you choose your subjects?
Whyte: In this new biography book, we also have a collectors edition..and I chose for the clasp a penny. And for me, the penny is symbolic of the people that I paint. and the best way I can explain it is that when most people walk and they see a penny lying on the sidewalk, most people will step over the penny and keep walking.
And so, that’s who I paint. I paint pennies, people who are often overlooked and passed by. And I think that’s where we find the real humanity. I firmly believe that you can take almost anybody, give them a makeover, give them a script and you have this sort of pseudo-celebrity person. But what I want to paint are the people that fall under this radar: real, true, honest Americans.
Byrd: How do you approach people, these pennies you see and you want to paint them?
Whyte: I really like painting people I don’t know, because I feel I don’t have this obligation to them. Of course, all of my models are compensated and they sign a permission form and they understand what might become of this painting. But when I see someone on the sidewalk, I’ve never regretted asking someone to pose for me, even if they said no. But I have regretted the people I didn’t ask.
I guess what I look for is a certain profoundness in a person. You can’t make that happen. It either is or it isn’t. And so when I see that in a person or a person in a certain situation, I simply go up and I tell them that i am an artist and I want to make some sketched or to take some photos for a painting, I always get the same two reactions from the people.
The first is that they say “You want to paint me?” and I love that, that sort of unassuming surprise of someone, that unpolished, true, natural heart of a human being. The second is, “Wait, I have to go fix my hair” and I say “No, no I don’t want you to fix your hair, I want you to be just like this, just as you are.”
So I have actually had very few people say no to me.
Byrd: Because you are truly interested in them as a person and that surprises them….
Whyte: That is exactly it! When you show sincere interest and appreciation of a person, they will open up. Being an artist, I have had so many wonderful doors opened to me, as a stranger, people that when they hear that I am in the area painting or that I want to paint them, they invite me into their home, they have given me places to stay—-to me, a stranger.
Byrd: Tell me about the market right now.The newest ways that we communicate these days, through social media, does that help or hurt people trying to make a living in fine art?
Whyte: That’s a yes and no answer. Certainly with the advent of social media, it can certainly increase the market range of an artist so that an artist is able to show their work to a somebody in Europe and sell it to that person in Europe.
I also think that in some ways it doesn’t help us as artists in that there are so many artists who have their work out there and so many artists that call themselves plein air painters or atelier painters that those particular categories of artists I think begin to lose their specialness when there are so many artists doing it. That being said, social media does give many more opportunities for artists to find their niche in the art world and to locate a certain type of client that their work may appeal to.
As far as how the market is right now, I think that a lot of artists are struggling. We are so closely tied to real estate, if people are not building and buying walls, you’re not putting something on the walls. For many artists, it’s become a more competitive market.
Via: South Carolina Radio Network