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Award-winning artist Mary Edna Fraser finds immersive inspiration

Renowned South Carolina landscape artist and climate activist finds inspiration in the Swamp, sharing scenery of hope and change

With more than 100 one-woman exhibits to her credit and affiliates such as NASA, Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic, we are thrilled to announce that award-winning local artist Mary Edna Fraser will headline the premiere Artist in Residence program at our Audubon Center and Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest.

A master batik artist, Fraser specializes in teaching the art of batik worldwide, as well as film and digital aerial photography and creating oil paintings, monotypes, and watercolors. From March 4 to 8, Fraser will immerse herself in the untouched beauty and gentle allure of ancient Bald Cypress and Tupelo trees at South Carolina’s Four Holes Swamp, a sixty-mile-long forested wetland draining ever so slowly to the Edisto River on its way to the Atlantic. Visitors to the center will have the opportunity to watch and chat with Fraser as she paints on the boardwalk during the week.

On Friday, March 8, we will host an open discussion with Fraser, “Climate and Coffee,” from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. We welcome visitors to tour our 1.75-mile long boardwalk through the Swamp and view Fraser’s finished works. 

Fraser’s passion is ignited by the adventure and storytelling that comes with flying and photographing threatened regions. “Batik on silk, my signature medium for the past quarter-century, communicates messages of conservation and stewardship,” Fraser explains. “Large- scale oils, my newest endeavor, seek to further protect sacred landscapes. Aerial and satellite photography, maps, and charts inform explorations that reveal the complex patterns of our universe. The artworks have an elegant impact by virtue of scale, compelling design and vibrant color.”

She recently combined her talents with those of acclaimed geoscientist Orrin Pilkey to publish Global Climate Change: A Primer, which uses art as a vehicle to educate, illustrate and share scientific information. This collaboration led to the launch of their comprehensive, educational exhibition Our Expanding Oceans. The original text by Fraser and Pilkey corresponds with Fraser’s batiks on silk, and the traveling exhibition consists of 33 batiks on silk, all owned by Mary Edna Fraser, with a total value of $390,000.

We are very much looking forward to having Mary Edna stay at our cabin and are honored that she will cast the serene landscapes of Francis Beidler Forest onto canvas, bringing the captivating simplicity of our state to life.