The South Carolina Arts Commission recently announced the 2016 winners of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the state’s highest award in the arts. Charleston batik artist Mary Edna Fraser has been named the recipient. Other winners include Hootie and the Blowfish and poet Nikky Finney, who both received special recognition. 

S.C. Arts commission chairman Henry Horowitz says, “Each of these Verner Award recipients has attracted positive national attention for the Palmetto State. Their dedication to the arts greatly benefits South Carolinians and materially enhances our state’s economic vitality.”

The awards will be presented on May 11 during a ceremony at the Statehouse, followed by a gala at the Grand Hall in Columbia. Art aficionados can grab a ticket for $75 at

This isn’t the first accolade for Fraser, whose work has been collected and shown all around the globe, including in over 100 exhibitions. She was also the first woman to have a solo exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Fraser’s art is composed through a two-step process — first, she takes aerial photos using her own photography, along with satellite images, maps, and charts, and then uses them to create striking batiks. Check out some of her collection at   

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