Mary Whyte is a teacher and author whose figurative watercolor paintings have earned international recognition. A resident of Johns Island, South Carolina, Whyte garners much of her inspiration from the Gullah descendants of coastal Carolina slaves who number among her most prominent subjects. In 2003, Whyte’s paintings of her Gullah friends culminated in a museum exhibition and book called Alfreda’s World
In 2011, Whyte’s groundbreaking exhibition Working South opened with 50 works at the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina. Four additional museums signed on to exhibit the large-scale, sensitively rendered watercolors depicting blue-collar workers in industries vanishing throughout the south. Whyte’s unrivaled mastery of the watercolor medium, along with this exhibition, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Her book, “Working South,” references each painting and sketch with background stories of the Southern people and places beautifully portrayed within the exhibition.
“Down Bohicket Road,” released November 2012, is her comprehensive book of paintings completed over a 20-year period on Johns Island. It is a rich, visual tribute to friendship that crosses cultural and racial borders and reaches straight to the heart.
In 2013, The South Carolina Arts Commission awarded Whyte with the prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award.
Also in October 2013, Whyte was one of 10 watercolor artists of the world invited to the China and Foreign Countries International Watercolour Summit at the Nanning Art Gallery in Nanning China. Simultaneously, The Butler Institute of American Art showcased 20 of Whyte’s major works in a solo exhibition named after her recently released biography titled, “More Than A Likeness, The Enduring Art of Mary Whyte,” written by Martha R. Severens and published by University of South Carolina Press.
In November 2013 Whyte was featured in a solo exhibition at the National Arts Club in New York City. This exhibition was extended due to the overwhelming positive public response.
Her overseas exhibition included The World Watermedia Exposition in Thailand, 2014.
Whyte’s solo exhibition of 20 paintings, A Portrait of Us, toured the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando Florida, and also the ArtCenter Manatee, in Bradenton Florida, November 2015 through February 2016.
Most recently, The Portrait Society of America chose Mary Whyte as the 2016 recipient of the Society’s Gold Medal. Past recipients are some of America’s most renowned artists including Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, Nelson Shanks, Phillip Pearlstein and Burton Silverman.
Whyte’s watercolor entitled “Artist” is on display on Concourse B.
For more information about Mary Whyte go to marywhyte.com
Artist portrait source: marywhyte.com