Charleston Day School
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Students Face to Face with Whyte Portraits

December 4

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the eighth grade took a short walk off campus to the City Gallery to see local watercolor artist Mary Whyte’s 50 portraits of American veterans, WE THE PEOPLE. The exhibit has received national attention, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning and will soon travel the states. After working on self-portraits themselves, the students were able to appreciate the work that goes into capturing the likeness and spirit of the human face. They marveled at the realistic portrayals of veterans. Whyte spent eight years traveling America to find a veteran to paint in each of the 50 states. At the exhibit opening, she offered to bring in all the veterans and their spouses for the event. About half attended.

After exploring the artwork and taking notes, the eighth graders experienced a serendipitous meeting with the artist herself, who happened to be in the building signing books. Mary Whyte wanted to meet the students and shook every hand, then spoke with them about her process, paintings and subjects.

The trip was chaperoned by the middle school art, language arts and character teachers. The exhibit lends itself to further study in all three disciplines and is excellent preparation for the upcoming eighth grade class mural and the Junior Docent experience at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

The sixth grade will visit the City Gallery to experience the WE THE PEOPLE exhibit as well on Thursday. Learn more about Mary Whyte’s work.

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