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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

Mayo Mac Boggs

2013 Arts in Education Award

Mayo Mac BoggsMayo Mac Boggs was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. His great grandfather was a blacksmith; both grandfathers and his father were welders and steelworkers. Continuing a family tradition of ironwork, he has taken the ironworker's material and process and made art.


In 1969, he earned a BA degree from the University of Kentucky. In 1970, he earned a MFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Boggs is well known for his abstract paintings, steel sculptures, bronze work, computer graphics and architectural designs. His work is in the presidential libraries of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and is located internationally in numerous corporate collections. Boggs was invited to present his September 11th World Trade Center memorial, “The Halo Project,” at the "International Biennial of Contemporary Art" exhibition in Italy. In 1991, he was named Honorary Artist of Spartanburg , and in 2000, the Mayor proclaimed April 29 as "Mayo Mac Boggs Day." In 2010, Boggs was honored with a 40-year retrospective of his career, with approximately 100 of his works presented on the campuses of Converse, Wofford and USC Upstate.


The art that Boggs produces covers a wide range, but his teaching is equally versatile. Since 1979, Boggs has shared his passion for art as a professor at Converse College, teaching, mentoring and inspiring generations of students and colleagues to pursue artistic careers and develop appreciation for the visual arts. Nicknamed the “Pied Piper of Converse” for his leadership and influence, Boggs has a number of students who keep in touch after graduation, many of whom have gained worldwide recognition for their accomplishments.


During his teaching career, he served as chair of the Department of Art and Design, overeeing gallery exhibitions, classroom assignments, community projects and recruitment of students. He designed travel programs, courses, individual class projects and community service activities, and developed institutional and corporate partners to provide opportunities for his students. Boggs is responsible for developing the art curriculum that exists today at Converse, including opportunities for coursework in interior design, studio art, art education, textile design and graphic design.


Boggs spends enormous amounts of time, energy and expertise advocating for arts education. His dedication and commitment have made all the difference for a cadre of artist-teachers and students across the state.


A remarkable artist, Boggs shares his infectious passion for the visual arts with everyone he encounters and is dedicated to cultivating the creative spirit in all his students.