Meet Our Instructors
Richard White – Visual Arts
Artist Richard D. White is a native of Beaufort, South Carolina and has always had a love for the arts. As a child he was influenced by his mother, a cross-stitch and calligraphy artist. Richard grew up in one of the Gullah communities of the Sea Islands of South Carolina where arts and carts are a way of life. Sweetgrass basket weavers, shrimp net makers, wood carvers, and musicians are just people in the neighborhood.
White is a self-taught Latin percussionist, admits his first love is music, has played professionally with some of South Carolina’s greatest jazz, rock, and R&B legends. After graduating high school, Richard attended Ohio University Southern in Ironton, OH. After college he joined the U.S. Navy and saw various forms of art from around the world, which still influence his art today.
During a short career as a truck driver in 2004, Richard was severely injured in an accident that left him unable to return to work, so he turned back to his favorite hobby…art. Unable to work and supporting a family of five, buying canvases for painting was too expensive, so he started experimenting with wood. The response from family and friends was so encouraging that he began carving other pieces and he is now best know for this carving.
Richard’s first professional showing was at the Hilton Head Island Self Arts center of the the Coastal Carolina and sold all 10 pieces displayed. Since then he has had work displayed at Emma Mae’s in Washington, DC, The Du Sable Museum in Chicago, IL, The Langston Hughes Cultural Center in Queens, NY, Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, and the South Carolina State Museum. Richard was also the 2007-08 artist in residence at Ohio University Southern teaching students about Gullah culture, art, and West African dying techniques.
Richard has received The 2008 Sam Doyle Award, The May Kourtrolakis Award, and The Beaufort Art Association Award of Excellence. Apart from shows, Richard helped to found Camp Treasure Chest teaching art and drum techniques to disabled children. His desire to develop as an artist, expand upon his style of wood carving, and to give to the Etowah County community by being an influence to young future artists.