Mary Whyte is an artist, 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 fifty 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 the popular television show, CBS Sunday Morning.
Her book, Working South, reverences each painting and sketch with background stories of the Southern people and places beautifully portrayed within the exhibition.
Down Bohicket Road, also written by Mary Whyte, was released November 2012. It is a comprehensive book of paintings completed over a twenty-year period on Johns Island. Down Bohicket Road is a rich, visual tribute to friendship that crosses cultural and racial borders and reaches straight to the heart.
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.