Watercolors featured in Butler exhibit

The work of South Carolina painter Mary Whyte will be featured in an exhibition opening Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art.

Whyte has gained national recognition for her figurative watercolors and is most noted for her depictions of the African-American Gullah women of Johns Island, S.C. In recent years Whyte has turned her attention to paintings of southern laborers.

Whyte’s exhibition of 50 paintings and drawings called “Working South” was the subject of a feature on CBS Sunday Morning.

According to Butler director Louis Zona, “Whyte’s work is nothings short of sensational. She’s one of the greatest artistic talents of her generation. The Butler is thrilled to showcase these amazing paintings.”

Whyte is the author of several books about painting, and her work has been featured in numerous periodicals and magazines, including International Artist, Artist Magazine, American Artist and American Art Collector. Her work has been included in many national exhibitions including the Butler’s Midyear Show, as well as exhibits by the American Watercolor Society, the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Allied Artists of America.

She is a faculty member of the Portrait Society of America, and continues to teach painting workshops nationwide. She will be teaching an art workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The class will take place in Beecher Court, so visitors to the museum will be able to watch.

The exhibition coincides with the release of a biography on the artist, “More Than a Likeness: The Enduring Art of Mary Whyte,” written by art historian Martha R. Severens. The 368-page hardcover book, which includes 200 color illustrations, was published by the University of South Carolina Press, and is available for purchase ($75) in the Butler’s Museum Gift Shop.

“Mary Whyte: Paintings” will be on display Sunday through Nov. 24 at the Butler, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown. A meet-the-artist reception is planned from 1 to 3 pm. Sunday. For more information, call 330-743-1107.