Flying to Amelia Island

August 2nd, 2011

My dear brother Burke brought the family Ercoupe down to Charleston.  On Friday, we flew from Johns Island Airport to Amelia Island (GA) to shoot for a commission.  I took over 1,000 photographs on this flight.  The trip was so exciting and I shot every barrier island on the way.  What made it special was that when I began my career with © Island From the Sky, this was the exact same path we flew in the 70’s.  Now I’m using digital and Burke and I are a well-oiled team.  Chase Cribb, my intern from the Art Institute of Charleston, got a chance to fly too and took these beautiful photographs of me and Burke with the Ercoupe and the view of my home on James Island Creek. 

Looking Back: Some of Mary Edna’s Past Exhibits

January 4th, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

PEM offers world views through batik and modern dance

In conjunction with the World Batik Conference in Boston

Flying North (detail), 2004, © Mary Edna Fraser

Mary Edna Fraser: Silk Tableaus
6–6:45 pm
Reservations by June 4
Members $6, nonmembers $10
Bartlett Gallery
Batik artist Mary Edna Fraser describes her art-making process, starting with the inspiration she draws from photographs shot from the open cockpit of a 1946 Ercoupe plane or from satellite images and maps. Her large-scale, dyed-silk aerial landscapes often focus on the convergence of land, sea, and sky. Also, visit the new PEM exhibition Air Lines: Photographs by Alex MacLean for a related view of the landscape. View a selection of the artist’s stunning batiks on display in PEM’s Idea Studios before or after her lecture.

Nicola Hawkins dancers

Prayers for the Planet
7:30 pm performance
8 pm presentations, demonstrations, and discussions
Reservations by June 6
Members $23, nonmembers $28
Morse Auditorium
Explore humankind’s place on the planet through this world premiere performance by the international Nicola Hawkins Dance Company. Prayers for the Planet radiates from an aerial view of the planet, imploring a new view of earth while providing a rewarding sanctuary for the soul. Set design by batik artist Mary Edna Fraser. Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble performs original music composed by Evan Ziporyn.

The Atrium Café will remain open until 7:30 pm with light refreshments available for purchase. Reduced pricing is available for both events: Members $25, nonmembers $33 (limited number of student tickets available at $20 with valid, current student ID). These programs made possible in part by the Northeast Global Education Center at Salem State College and the Lyceum Lecture Fund.

Silk Batiks by Mary Edna Fraser

Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center
MAY 7 – SEPT 18, 2005


My medium is batik: silk cloth colored by hand using a modern variation of an ancient method of dyeing textiles. I prefer to investigate a region firsthand before beginning a batik: hiking the terrain, exploring the waterways by boat and air, collecting rock and shell samples, and making on-site watercolor studies. Maps, nautical charts, satellite and space imagery provide accurate data with which to plan my compositions. My intent is to convey the essence of place.

Barrier islands have been one focus of my work, and Naturescapes features a number of these batiks. I hope the art will contribute to the appreciation of the dynamic nature of these movable strips of sand and will act as a catalyst for the preservation of barrier islands for future generations.

Mary Edna Fraser has exhibited her work at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Duke University Museum of Art, and the National Science Foundation, among many other venues. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center

Canton, MA –

GALLERY Sunday, June 12, 2005 – 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

TALK Fee: $5 Mass Audubon members, $8 non-members

with the Free to World Batik Conference participants

ARTIST Registration: 781-821-8853

EXHIBIT Hours: Friday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; May 7-Sept 18, 2005

INFO Fee: Free to Mass Audubon members,

Nonmembers $4 adults, $3 children & seniors

Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center

963 Washington Street, Canton MA 02021

From Outer Banks to Outer Space: Silk Batiks by Mary Edna Fraser

Spoleto Festival 2004 Charleston, South Carolina May 28-June 38
Suspended from the Gaillard Auditorium ceiling, 77 Calhoun Street

Flying Weather

New framed monotypes & giclee prints by Mary Edna Fraser
Opening Reception Thursday 5-8 pm June 17th Mercy & Co Interior Design
49 Windemere Blvd Charleston, SC 29407 behind Earthfare
843 763 2323
10-6 Tuesday-Saturday or by appointment
Exhibit closes August 17

Bones, Bugs, & Batiks

Dana Downs, Jeff Kopish & Mary Edna Fraser

Opening Reception Thursday May 20th, 2004
5:00 – 8:00 pm
Mary Edna Fraser’s Studio
1723 Oak Point Road
Charleston, SC 29412
Park at Oak Point Pediatric Dentistry or side of James Island Harris Teeter

Open by Appointment through June 20th
For directions call 843 762 2594

-20th Century Guitar’s review of RICHARD ROBINSON’S “WATERCOLORS” acoustic
guitar cd is now available online at

-20th Century Guitar’s interview with Richard Robinson will be available online at beginning in June, 2004

-April 4, 2004 at 7 p.m. (est) at the Bitter End in New York City (show will be webcast live at

-April 26, 2004 at 8 p.m. (est) at CBGB’s 313 Gallery in New York City (show will be webcast live at


The companion audio CD to the exhibit featuring the music of Mark Mercury

From Outer Banks To Outerspace

January 28th to April 4, 2004 at Emory College

Island Beauty

A Celebration of the World’s BARRIER ISLANDS
purchase Online

From the North Carolina Outer Banks to New York’s Fire Island, from Iceland to the Netherlands and Colombia to Vietnam, barrier islands protect much of the worlds coastlines from the ravages of the sea. Although these island are vastly different in many ways, they also share many common features. Most dramatic among these is their dynamism-barrier islands are in almost constant motion, their advances and retreats offering powerful testimony to the force and beauty of nature.

This first-of-its-kind survey of barrier islands around the globe had its genesis in 1993, when geologist Orrin Pilkey met artist Mary Edna Fraser at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina. They soon realized they shared a passion for the barriers, one heightened by the many threats the islands face from development and global warming. These endangered and irreplaceable jewels, Pilkey and Fraser determined, needed to be better understood and, as important, to be seen in a new way, if they were to be saved. Every bit as dynamic as the islands they depict, Fraser’s spectacular batik artwork combines with Pilkey’s engaging and informative style to create a treasure that is both beautiful and rigorously scientific.

A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands is one part stunning coffee table book, and one part state-of-the-art popular science, and it will take readers on a long-distance journey from pole to pole and hemisphere to hemisphere that is altogether original.

Orrin Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology and director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Duke University. he is the recipient of many awards, including the Jim Shea Award for Public Service from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and the author of many books, including The Beaches Are Moving. He lives in Hillsborough, NC.

Mary Edna Fraser is a renowned artist specializing in the production of large-scale batiks, many based on aerial photographs. Her work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Duke University Museum of Art, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. She lives in Charleston, SC.

For more information on A Celebration of the World’s BARRIER ISLANDS visit,

Marjory Wentworth and Mary Edna Fraser
CONTACT: Stacy Hamburger 843 971 2839

WHAT THE WATER GIVES ME (Booksurge; October 2002; $20.99) is the culmination of a decade of artistic collaboration between poet Marjory Wentworth and artist Mary Edna Fraser. This book represents their powerful fusion of visual and verbal communication. Side by side, the poems and the monotypes present an innovative approach to human and environmental concerns. Their first museum exhibition, held at The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, during the 1995 Spoleto Festival USA was appropriately called “Visual Poetry.” Printed poems, poems typed on pieces of silk, monotypes, and batiks were displayed. Since then, their work has appeared together in museums and institutions throughout the United States, including Duke University Museum of Art, the National Science Foundation, and Peabody Essex Museum. Known primarily for her large scale aerial landscape batiks on silk, Fraser has created this series of personal monotypes and giclée prints on paper that represent some of her best work, which has never been shared with the public. Against this background, Wentworth’s intensely imagistic poetry unfolds. In their book WHAT THE WATER GIVES ME, artist Mary Edna Fraser and poet Marjory Wentworth create a unified lyrical vision of life. As if two harmonious sensibilities have been interpreting the world in the same way but with different means of expression, words conjure images and images elicit written incantations. The dreamscape monotypes conceived by Fraser coupled with Wentworth’s poetry result in a unique and extraordinarily beautiful book. The silent dialogue between the poetry and the artwork articulates the fragile balance that exists within the contradictory forces of the nature. Themes of birth and growth coexist with death and destruction. Colors and shapes express emotions in fresh perceptions. The result is spiritual, honest, and ultimately affirming. The subject is the journey of the human heart.

“Marjory Wentworth and Mary Edna Fraser are making a quiet plea through their art….expressing their love of nature, concern for the environment and curiosity about where the natural and spiritual world meet.”
Aida Rogers,
The Chicago Tribune

About the Artist
Mary Edna Fraser is an internationally known batik and monotype artist. Her work has been displayed in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and institutions throughout the world. Her batiks will be featured in the forthcoming book by geologist Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey, A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Dr. John Sperry and her two daughters Sarah and Rebecca.

About the Author
Marjory Wentworth’s poems have appeared in numerous books and magazines, and she has received two Pushcart Prize nominations. Nightjars, a chapbook of her poems, was published in 1995. She works as a book and film publicist and a creative writing teacher. She lives on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina with her husband, Peter and their three sons Hunter, Oliver, and Taylor Mary Edna Fraser (843 762 2594) and Marjory Wentworth (843 883 0237) are available for interviews. Mary Edna Fraser’s Studio open by appointment.

For more information, contact:
slide, jpeg, or .pdf available upon request

Rivers of Wind
Marjory Wentworth was honored on January 15th, 2003 to read the poem, Rivers of Wind, which she composed for Mark Sanford on the occasion of his Inauguration as Governor of South Carolina. It is a featured poem by the Dodge Poetry Festival site.

Today the angels, are tumbling
down through heaven’s door.
All along the Coosaw
they hover in a misting halo,
until the black river
shreds into the sea. Today,
as the old oak leaves spin
into bright bunches of confetti,
oysters split open their shells
and sing. At the water’s edge
lilies and tickseed bloom
white and yellow candles
for the dead. All along the Coosaw
the breaths of angels
compose the air, moving in rivers
of wind across this land.

The rivers are omnipotent.
They weave through the earth
like veins, moving for thousands
of miles. There is no beginning.
There is no end, like the moss
and trillium flowing across the forest floor,
or the ravens gathered
above the sharp edges
of the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
In the gray granite cliffs,
where they build
their winter nests of twigs and fine hair
the birds caw and chortle.
Their rumble is the sound
of a wild, free place.
From these mountain tops,
it seems you can see forever –
From the sandhills to the swampland.
From the Piedmont
to the Peedee. In all directions
today, the ever-changing colors
are splashing through the sky –

because in every heart
there is a God of hope, hiding
like a tight frightened seed,
that waits for the first smudge
of sunlight to spread
across the horizon, and later
in the purpled evening, rain.

Seeds of hope are waiting
in the sacred soil beneath our feet
and in the light and in the shadows,
spinning below the hemlocks.
Hope waits in the endless
waterfalls tumbling toward earth,
transforming into rivers
that pull us through embattled centuries.
Hope waits for the waters
to still and the currents
to empty themselves of the blood
that came before.

Hope waits for a day like today.

Hope waits for this man,
who reaches across
our divided lives.

Be still.
Be silent.

There is so much light
filling the sky here.
So much conviction
in the wind now.
Watch the seeds of hope
as they scatter far,
far across this land.

Mother’s Day Art Exhibit, Booksigning and Poetry Reading

What The Water Gives Me
Original Monotypes on paper, Batiks on silk and Giclée Prints Mary Edna Fraser’s Studio, next to the James Island Harris Teeter
1723 Oak Point Road
Charleston, SC, 29412
843 762 2594
Hosted by the Center for Women and Skirt Magazine
5:30 – 7:30 pm, May 8, 2003
Reading by Marjory Wentworth at 6:30 pm

Booksigning by Marjory Wentworth and Mary Edna Fraser
What The Water Gives Me
Barnes and Nobles Booksellers
1716 Town Center
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843 216 9756
3 – 6 pm, May 10th, 2003

Outer Banks to Outer Space

Nationally Renowned Artist to Exhibit Batik on Silk Art Works at Festival of Flight 2003 Outer Banks to Outer Space to hang in “Heritage Hall” at Crown Center
CONTACT: Audrey Whaley (910) 763-4439

Fayetteville, N.C. January 2002- Organizers for Festival of Flight 2003 have announced the addition of Mary Edna Fraser’s Outer Banks to Outer Space exhibit to the 120,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space in Fayetteville’s Crown Center. Fraser’s exhibit will premiere on May 19, 2003, and will continue through May 26 for the duration of the Festival. The exhibit consists of 68 works, which will be suspended around the replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer in “Heritage Hall” at the Crown Center. “Mary Edna’s remarkable batiks are a great example of how flight has changed the way we view the world. We are excited to have her work, which is so heavily influenced by flight exhibited around the Wright Flyer. It’s a dramatic combination!” said Paul Dordal, chief operating officer for Festival of Flight 2003.

Ms. Fraser’s exhibit for Festival of Flight is comprised of three sections of work. Earthscapes: A Celebration of Barrier Islands, utilizes aerial photos to dramatically and meticulously recreate the landscapes along the North Carolina Coast, where flight began, and barrier islands worldwide. Naturescapes: Global Phenomena, covers terrain from aerial perspectives of geologic interest, and Planetscapes: Cycles of Spheres, uses NASA satellite images to create works that reach to the stars. In 1994-95, Ms. Fraser was honored with the first one-woman exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, as well as the museum’s first textile art show. She has also completed public commissions including batiks for the American Embassy in Thailand and NASA. Her most ambitious work, the world’s largest batik, is an 876 square foot atrium sculpture called Global Perception in Columbia, South Carolina. Another notable commission is her 630 square foot batik on silk sculpture, Charleston Waterways, which hangs in the Charleston International Airport entrance hall.

Fraser, a Fayetteville native now living in Charleston, South Carolina, began creating batiks in 1980 when she originated the idea of designing works of art on silk from the vantage point of the sky. Fraser studies navigational charts to identify features of visual interest, then photographs those features from air. She flies in her grandfather’s 1946 415c Ercoupe airplane, in which she has been flying from the time she was two weeks old, with her father or brother as pilot. Maps and satellite images are her references for more expansive compositions or distant locations. Her more than 100 commissions range from private homes to municipal airports.

“Exhibited and collected around the world, her batiks have a common theme: promoting the awareness of environmental beauty and change on the planet as seen from the air,” said Carolyn Russo author of Women and Flight. She utilizes the ancient medium of batik to create images from aerial photos on large silk canvases.

About Batik Batik is a “dye-resist” process in which removable wax is applied to fabric, creating areas that will resist dye, while any un-waxed areas will absorb dye. This dyeing technique predates recorded history. Evidence of early batik has been found in the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and India. Fraser adds an element of difficulty by combining these ancient techniques with modern developments such as Proceon dyes, electrically generated heat, commercially available fabrics and paraffin.

About Festival of Flight 2003

Festival of Flight 2003, North Carolina’s largest public celebration of the centennial flight, will run from May 16 to May 26, 2003, and is expected to draw over a half million people to Fayetteville and will feature extensive exhibits from NASA and the United States Air Force, interactive displays from all branches of the military, exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Air and Space Museum, static displays of current and vintage aircraft, both military and general aviation air shows and daily flight demonstrations with a replica of the Wright Brothers famous 1903 Wright Flyer. The Festival will also host 5,000 students from across the state in special educational programs, including a live satellite uplink with the International Space Station.

For more information on Festival of Flight 2003, visit .

Beyond Fort Johnson

Hollings Marine Laboratory
Charleston, SC
Batik on Silk by
Mary Edna Fraser
Craig, Gaulden and Davis, INC Architects

On an aerial photographic journey, early morning dappled light revealed the landscape facing the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Hollings Marine Laboratory. This is the design base for the lobby art. Beyond Fort Johnson is a fan sculpture of 3 panels each 21’ x 3’. The center balcony of the second floor allows one a vista of the horizon with the Morris Island lighthouse as an anchor. The second floor side balconies look over soft drapes of silk which repeat the architectural curve of the building and exterior.

Batik is an ancient medium of dyeing silk, and Fraser’s perspective is revealed by altitude, often in her grandfather’s 1946 vintage plane. The artist’s work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences.

KIMONO SILKS Exhibition Closes January 24, 2010

January 20th, 2010

The Kimono Silks show ends this week.  Sunday the 24th is the last day. I appreciate every person that stopped in across from Saks at 214 King Street to view my latest work.

We are so lucky to have the Charleston community of creative talent and those who attend the events that enrich our lives.

Now my twitters and blog posts will cease, as I work on commissions for patrons, upcoming museum exhibits shown below, and batiks for my book on global warming with Orrin Pilkey will take precedent.

I presently have thousands of aerial photographs that inspire me, 75 batiks on silk, 100 monotypes on paper, and numerous giclée prints available in the studio.

Call for an appointment at 843 762 2594 or email me at if you want to visit. My studio will be a gallery all of Spoleto Festival USA May- June.

Terraqueous SilksFlorence Museum of Art, Florence, SC, March  9 – May 23, 2010
Seascape Festival 2010, Gloucester, MA, July 24-25 organized
by David Coffin for the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center
The Art of Global Awareness, McKissick Museum of Art, USC, Columbia, August  – December 2010
Our Expanding Oceans, Circle Gallery, College of Environment and Design,
University of Georgia, January 2011

Our Expanding Oceans, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC, March 2011 – January 2012, November Art Walk in the Nature Gallery.

Small oil paintings on view at Kimono Silks!

January 11th, 2010

My assistant, Timothy Pakron, sets up my easel and brushes and helps me clean up my messes.
He is an oil painter and has been helping me learn how to use this classic medium.

Monotypes are also done with oil but they are painted on plexiglass and then printed on paper.
It is refreshing to work on a new surface such as canvas and to capture the changing tide and light.
I have enjoyed working on these intimate paintings en plain air in my own backyard.

Eventually, I will work on museum scale aerial landscapes with oil on canvas.

My Exhibition is on display at 214 King Street.

Photos of Opening Night

December 24th, 2009

Wishing everyone a happy holiday,


KIMONO SILKS Event Highlights

December 15th, 2009

Do take the time to go by the exhibit across from Saks if you are in Charleston. The opening was so much fun and 400 pieces of sushi were dispensed by Rachael and Anna Kate dressed as Geishas.

The brick walls are a lovely setting for art. I will post some photos of the event soon.

Traci Mangus, who runs the events for Dunes Properties Real Estate Studio. was a delightful hostess.

I hope you all have the most wonderful holidays. I will have 21 family members coming to visit for Christmas ages 3 to 89. My daughters, Sarah LaBanna and Rebecca, are home now so I am a happy Mama.

Opening Night

December 10th, 2009

Kimono Silks opens this Thursday
December 10th, 2009
from 6-9 at 214 King Street
Bring a friend and enjoy a lovely evening of mirth

Exhibition in Charleston through January 24, 2010
9 – 5 Monday – Saturday & Noon – 5 on Sunday

Here are a few of the new works featuring the Lowcountry.

Vistas Inspire Works

December 7th, 2009

Fraser Exhibit to Open Thursday at 214 King Street

By Bill Thompson
The Post and Courier
Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shimmering and versatile, silk has been used as an artistic “canvas” for centuries. Charleston artist Mary Edna Fraser, noted for her batiks, monotypes and oils inspired by aerial photography, is employing the fabric to bring her art closer to terra firma. With “Kimono Silks,” an exhibit opening Thursday at the gallery at 214 King St., Fraser explores the vistas from her own backyard — just above ground level. Referencing traditional Japanese wood block prints of the ukiyo-e (“images of the floating world”) period in Japan, Fraser achieves something of the same evanescent quality, if of a landscape of not-so-fleeting beauty.

“I think I’ve landed on something brand-new and exciting,” she says.

The new works will be on view 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 2.

An accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited globally, Fraser’s interest in fabrics is long-standing. The genesis of “Kimono Silks” derived from a recent visit to Australia. Fraser has a regular gig Down Under, teaching every other year at

TAFTA, the Australian Forum for Textile Arts, to which she will return in 2011.

“While in Australia in September and October of this year, I bought every piece of 14-inch-wide, undyed antique vintage kimono silk I could find from dealers,” says Fraser, who graduated from East Carolina University in 1974 with majors in clothing and textiles as well as in interior design. “I rummaged through stack after stack, buying everything I thought would go well with my work.”

As opposed to the lofty views of the coastline from North Carolina to Georgia that mark her aerial work, the silks, with their damask designs, provide a different perspective.

“At 14 inches wide, what it offered to me and my clients is a smaller scale. I can still have the long, linear designs I prefer, but instead of 9 to 10 feet in length, the silks are only 3 feet long, which make it more intimate and affordable.”

Though dominated by the silks, the artist notes that her show also will have a segment of oils on canvas and monotypes on canvas.

Fraser apprenticed with master batik artist Fred Andrade on Hilton Head Island in 1977 and since 1993 has been studying with Orrin Pilkey, professor emeritus of geology at Duke University. Their collaboration culminated in 2003 with publication of the book “A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands” (Columbia University Press).

Apart from Australia, she has lectured in Indonesia and Taiwan, among other countries, and more than 50 exhibitions have featured her batiks and monotypes, not least at the National Academy of Sciences. In 1994-95, the Fayetteville, N.C., native was the first woman to be honored with a one-person exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

“Age has its merits when you’re an artist,” says Fraser. “You know that when you lay a line down it is precisely where you want it to be and in precisely the right color. It is mind, heart and hands in concert.”

Batiks remain her passion.

“You have to be very precise with this medium because it has no erasures, and I enjoy that,” Fraser said. “The best thing about this show, for me, is that batik is such a slow and meditative medium that as the holidays come up it quiets me down.

“I hope these batiks, especially, will be peaceful windows through which people may peer on the landscapes, many of them images from the vantage point of my own dock. It’s the landscape I know the best.”

Reach Bill Thompson at or 937-5707

Mary Edna on Lowcoutry Live

December 7th, 2009

The Waxing

December 4th, 2009

Below is the third waxing of four batiks. The silks are then dyed, waxed and dyed again.

I  just finished 7 hours of ironing out the batiks for the exhibit on December 10, next Thursday. My studio is a jumble of papers. It takes 5 minutes per square foot of ironing between newsprint to remove the wax. These vintage silks are thick and require many papers to soak up the wax. The last dye bath has the cloth almost fully covered in wax to resist the darkest layer of color. This creates depth in art, especially in aerial design. The ironing not only removes the wax but also heat sets the dye. The dye molecules bond with the cloth. After dry cleaning, I will wash the silks, sew hems, and cut poles. My photographer, Rick Rhodes, will archive them for me with color corrections in his studio.

Hope to see you at the opening or that you get a chance to drop by 214 King Street to view
the newest work.

Exhausted but happy,