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Florence Library seeks authors for expo

The Florence County Library is accepting applications from local and regional authors to appear at the Fourth Pee Dee Local Author Expo. The Expo takes place Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Doctors Bruce and Lee Foundation Library, 509 South Dargan St., Florence. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 22 for the 17 available slots. Applicants will be notified of the selections before January 10. The application form is available online. The Pee Dee Local Author Expo features a variety of works including poetry, plays, romance, inspirational works, children’s books, ghost stories, instructional nonfiction and historical fiction. The books will be available for sale, and authors will sign their works and answer questions. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (843) 413-7074. Via: Florence County Library

Watercolor artist Mary Whyte’s new book celebrates Gullah culture

Watercolor artist Mary Whyte's new publication, "Down Bohicket Road," is inspired by the Gullah culture of Coastal South Carolina. The book includes two decades of watercolors depicting a group of Gullah women of Johns Island, S.C., and their stories. In the early 1990s, in a remote corner of the South, Whyte first met Alfreda LaBoard and her devoted group of seniors who gathered weekly to make quilts, study the Bible and socialize in a small rural church on Bohicket Road. Descendants of Lowcountry slaves, these longtime island residents influenced Whyte's life and art in astonishing and unexpected ways. Mary Whyte Whyte soon began a series of watercolors depicting these women, honoring their lives and their dedication to family and faith. "Alfreda's World," a collection of Whyte's detailed watercolors and poignant recollections of the women at the senior center, was published a decade later, drawing attention and support from the community to the small church on Bohicket Road. "Down Bohicket Road" continues the story of Whyte's relationship with these extraordinary women, following the passing of Alfreda, against the backdrop of the ongoing commercial development of Johns Island. For Whyte, the heart of this community remains in the simple homes clustered along Bohicket Road, in the island's winding tidal creeks, and in a small church where 18 hardscrabble women gather in fellowship each week. In her book, Whyte illustrates that both watercolors and friendships can be the unpredictable results of an abundance of blessings. As shared through touching words and vibrant paintings, "Down Bohicket Road" celebrates a unique way of coastal life and a remarkable friendship that transcends all barriers—even death itself—in praise of the unifying power of art. "Down Bohicket Road" is available through the University of South Carolina Press. All royalties from book sales benefit the Hebron Saint Francis Senior Center on Johns Island. Book Signing Schedule Some events require ticket purchases and advance registration. Contact the venue for more details. December 4 Talk and Book Signing 5:30 p.m. The Florence Library, Florence (843) 413-7064 or (843) 413-7065 December 6 Talk and Book Signing Noon until 1 p.m. Center for the Book S.C. State Library, Columbia (803) 734-8666 December 6 Book Signing 5:30 - 7 p.m. Books on Broad, Camden (803) 713-7323 December 7 Talk and Book Signing 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head (843) 689-6767 December 11 Luncheon and Book Signing Noon Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (843) 722-2666 December 14 Luncheon and Book Signing 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Litchfield Books, Pawleys Island (843) 237-8138 December 14 Cocktails and Book Signing 6 - 8 p.m. Coleman Fine Art, Charleston (843) 853-7000 December 18 Luncheon and Book Signing Noon - 2 p.m. The Lazy Goat, Greenville Sponsored by Fiction Addiction (864) 675-0540 About Mary Whyte Watercolor artist Mary Whyte is a teacher and author whose figurative paintings have earned national recognition. A resident of Johns Island, S.C., Whyte garners much of her inspiration from the Gullah descendents of coastal Carolina slaves who number among her most prominent subjects. Her portraits are included in numerous corporate, private and university collections, as well as in the permanent collections of South Carolina’s Greenville County Museum of Art and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Her paintings have been featured in numerous publications, including International Artist, Artist, American Artist, Watercolor and American Art Collector. Her work can be found at Coleman Fine Art in Charleston. Via: Mary Whyte and USC Press