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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

Jean McWhorter, Artist


Verner Award statues
artist Jean McWhorter

The symbol of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts is a hand-crafted bronze statue, designed by artist Jean McWhorter, and presented to each recipient.


About Jean McWhorter

Jean McWhorter (1932-2011) received her BFA and MFA from the University of Georgia and studied for a year at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School in New York City. She began her professional career as an artist-teacher in Iowa. Three years later, she moved to Columbia, S.C., to teach at the Museum School of the Columbia Museum of Art, where she was an instructor of drawing, painting, and sculpture for 23 years and served as the director of the Museum School for the last six years. Her teaching experience also included sculpture, design, ceramic, and drawing classes at the University of South Carolina, Newberry College, and Benedict College.


McWhorter exhibited both regionally and nationally. She is represented in the collections of the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, the State Art Collection, and many corporate and private collections. McWhorter is listed in the Who's Who in American Art, and featured in Allied Publications of Prize Winning Sculpture and Watercolor, The 1st Compendium of Women in Design International, and Fiber Artsform IV.


In addition to the Verner Awards statue design for the South Carolina Arts Commission, McWhorter's commissions included models of state seals; portrait plaques; lions for the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; a mural for General Services of the United States Government; two sculptures for the South Carolina Capitol Complex; a Charter Day Award for Benedict College; and 11 large wall hangings for the Kennan Chapel of the Trinity Cathedral of Columbia, S.C.

About the Verner Awards


For more information about the Verner Awards, please contact Victoria McCurry, 803-734-8315.