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Returning To The Draw Of The Natural World

By Carey Sullivan for The Island Eye News

Artist Mary Edna Fraser
(right) helps Heather Dial
celebrate her new purchase.

It is an exciting time to turn our eyes back to Dewees Island. After an 18thmonth hiatus, the Dewees Island Arts Council and Dewees Island Conservancy are thrilled to host The Art of Mary Edna Fraser through Nov. 17. This show is special in so many ways. First, and of course, the art is captivating. The show includes 26 new oils on linen that Fraser painted en plein air on Dewees, which are breathtaking. As Fraser will tell you, each of her paintings is a prayer. When standing in front of them, you can feel that. You feel the hope and love, the pain and struggle that is the natural world and that draws each of us to a moment of prayer or reflection in our own lives. The additional works on display, all for sale and over 50 in total, include oils on linen and canvas of the Lowcountry and the mountains, as well as ten of her ethereal batiks on silk. The Huyler House Gallery has been transformed into a sanctuary of sorts, with silks hanging from the rafters and a stunning vision of nature wherever your eye lands. Fraser has been creating art on Dewees since its inception, creating the first commissioned piece of art for the Huyler House, a batik which still hangs in the gallery today. Her work represents a vision of Dewees that is instantly recognizable, but then layered with a complexity that keeps you coming back to find something more. Art is a powerful tool, and over the centuries it has captured our history, our emotions, our world at a moment in time. The moment that Fraser has captured on Dewees is one of reawakening, rebuilding, and renewal. Additionally, this show represents a desire to return, not to normal, but to the new normal, and to find a way to gather safely. To share a moment collectively, to turn to your friend standing next to you and say, “wow,” to connect in a way that the virtual world we have inhabited of late does not allow. We are offering an opportunity for our neighbors to visit Dewees. We have limited spaces over the next two months on the Dewees ferry to come over for a private, one hour viewing of Fraser’s art. Perhaps you will return having purchased a piece of art, but you will most definitely return with a sense of awe and wonder at how our natural world can be interpreted through the eyes of one of our generation’s most talented artists. 

While spaces are limited, we still have a few remaining spots on the ferry. Please follow this link to the signup genius to see which dates and times are still available at

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