Down Bohicket Road: An Artist’s Journey

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Mack Foreword. In , following Whyte's recovery from a year of treatment for cancer, she and her husband moved to a small sea island near Charleston, seeking a new home where they could reinvent themselves far re Artist Mary Whyte's Down Bohicket Road includes two decades worth of watercolors--depicting a select group of Gullah women of Johns Island, South Carolina, and their stories. In , following Whyte's recovery from a year of treatment for cancer, she and her husband moved to a small sea island near Charleston, seeking a new home where they could reinvent themselves far removed from the hectic pace of Philadelphia.

In this 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 residents of the island influenced Whyte's life and art in astonishing and unexpected ways. Whyte soon began a series of watercolors depicting these women, honoring their lives and their dedication to family and faith.

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As her friendships with these women grew, their matriarch Alfreda LaBoard claimed Whyte as her "vanilla sister. 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 eighteen 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.

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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing She captures a myriad of emotions in the expressions of each of the southerners whose everyday labors go unheralded while keeping the South in business: men and women, both young and old, black and white.

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She shares stories of the grace, strength, and dignity exemplified in these images of fading southern ways of life and livelihood. The book is pages and includes 55 beautiful color reproductions, each one an exquisitely crafted masterpiece. There is also a traveling exhibit which showcases the original works found in Working South that will be on display at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia from April 6 — July 7, Whyte has devoted twenty years to painting the Gullah culture and its remarkable women, resulting in a series of watercolors that would change her life and artistic focus.

This page book is a visual tribute to friendship that crosses cultural and racial borders, reaching straight to the heart.

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One of the unique aspects of this contest is that viewers have the opportunity to decide who the Grand Prize winner will be by voting for their favorite paintings throughout the duration of the contest. Through our complicated history, through light and shadow, we have persevered — humanity intact. Art is the reason.

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We believe art is the difference between merely existing and being truly alive. When we open ourselves to art, we open ourselves to the world — to beauty, craft, to different cultures, to pain and pleasure, expression and emotion. When the Gibbes Museum opened in , the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: the power of art — to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, and nourish our souls.