Last week I traveled to Charleston SC with a friend and my sister to see the city sights but mostly to attend the opening of Mary Whyte’s new exhibit, We The People, at the City Gallery, 34 Prioleau St. This was the culmination of seven years of research and travel to all 50 states and choosing and painting one veteran from each state. The resulting large scale paintings are breathtaking. The veterans are all ages and encompass every branch of the military. In the process Mary has started a foundation called the Patriot Art Foundation ( 

“The Patriot Art Foundation was created as a way to honor our country’s veterans through art. Our mission is to serve veterans though initiatives in art for self expression, creativity and healing, as well as by fostering a greater appreciation of our military’s service with the public and in schools.”

We were so glad we made the trip to see these works in person. To be able to stand close and see the watercolor techniques intimately was much more impactful than viewing them in a book. My friend and I looked in excitement at the techniques we had seen Mary do when she was here in Rochester for a workshop last June. The images above are just a mere few from the collection in the gallery. I urge you to go to and see the paintings as well as learn more about the project. 

The evening was more special by the presence of some of the veterans featured in the paintings.  They stood so proudly by their likenesses and they told us their stories. The images I saw that evening were some that I will always remember. They were images of hope, service, and sacrifice. We owe our veterans much and Mary has created a lasting tribute to them. 

If you are in Charleston the exhibit is open through December 22, 2019. While you are there I urge you to take a carriage tour (Old South Carriage Tours), take the two hour Gullah tour with Alphonse Brown, and have a meal at Magnolia’s (E. Bay St), Hyman’s (Meeting St) and definitely Hank’s Seafood (Hayne St). 

You can lean more about Mary Whyte at