Elizabeth Goodwill, education director of Art Center Sarasota, recently announced that renowned watercolor portrait artist, author, and educator Mary Whyte will discuss her life’s work and her artistic journey, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 17, at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail. This event will include a Q&A session and book sale and signing. Tickets are $30 for members; $35 for non-members. Wine and light bites will be served. For more information about this event, visit www.artsarasota.org/whyte. Whyte is also leading a three-day watercolor workshop, February 18-20, which has been sold out.

“We’re honored that Mary agreed to come to our area to share her wisdom, talent and stories,” says Goodwill. “This is a very rare opportunity for area artists and anyone interested in the artistic process.”

Whyte has received international recognition for her portraiture of people who are often unheralded. 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, 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. In 2016, she received the Gold Medal from The Portrait Society of America—the organization’s highest honor. Whyte’s books include Down Bohicket Road, featuring her watercolors depicting a group of Gullah women of Johns Island, South Carolina; Working South, which captures the essence of vanishing blue-collar professions from across 10 states in the American south; and Painting Portraits and Figures In Watercolor, a guide for beginning and intermediate watercolorists.

For more information, call 941-365-2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org.

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