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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

Laura Spong

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

Laura SpongLaura Spong has had an exemplary career, not only because of the public acclaim for her work, but because of her tenacity in living a life that conveys her belief in art and its importance to society and to personal growth. She began painting in the 1950s, facing all of the obstacles common to women artists, and overcame these barriers through persistence and commitment to her work. She focused on developing her talents, always aiming to create good art rather than quick notoriety. Now, late in her career, she has been recognized as a successful painter and a matriarch of the state’s art scene. Spong’s breakthrough as an artist came 10 years ago with her 80th birthday exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. An independent curator selected 70 paintings that clearly demonstrated the quality and breadth of Spong’s production. The response was overwhelming and focused the public’s attention in a new way to this important artist. While she had always been lauded locally, the catalogue, press reviews and the power of the works exhibited drew new attention to her remarkable career and her artistic leadership. After a quiet 50-year career, Spong is now recognized as one of South Carolina’s most prominent painters and the state’s premier abstract expressionist. Even with the painting schedule now required due to the growing demand for her work, Spong continues to mentor other artists and take part in community art projects and exhibitions. She has been gratified in that so many women artists tell her that they draw inspiration from her success, her dedication to productivity, and her vision of excellence.


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About the Verner Awards


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