A 3-part watercolor painting of an astronaut floating in space with a sliver of the Earth visible across the bottom left

In 2010, artist Mary Whyte set out on a mission to paint fifty large-scale watercolor portraits of what it means to be an American veteran today. Over seven years in the making, the project took the artist across the United States to meet and paint some of our country’s truest patriots. Her portrait of America includes individuals from many walks of life, some still on active duty, from every branch, and from a wide swath of ethnicities. From a mayor to an astronaut, from a teacher to a garbage collector, from a business entrepreneur to someone who is homeless, Whyte renders their unique and exceptional lives with great care and gentle brush strokes.

A vertical watercolor portrait of Amelia, a great-grandmother from Savannah, GA

Glory, 2015, Amelia, Great-Grandmother, Savannah, Georgia, Air Force, Sergeant WAAC, watercolor on paper, 28.5 x 20 in.

WE THE PEOPLE: Portraits of Veterans in America by Mary Whyte is poised to become a national treasure, honoring and connecting with men and women in uniform for generations to come. The words “we the people” embody the ethos of what it means to be an American citizen. As individuals, we are a tapestry of colors and creeds; united we are a nation committed to preserving our hard-earned freedom. In this extraordinary collection of portraits of military veterans, one from each of the 50 states, Whyte captures this ethos as well as the dedication, responsibility, and courage it takes to fulfill that promise.

An artist, author and teacher, Whyte’s watercolor paintings have earned international recognition. Her works are included in numerous public collections including the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina; the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina; the Mazza Museum of International Art in Findlay, Ohio; and many government, university and corporate collections across the United States. In 2013, Whyte was one of ten artists worldwide invited to travel to China and exhibit her watercolors at the Nanning Art Museum. Her work as also been featured in many international publications, including periodicals and books in China, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, Canada and Taiwan. The recipient of numerous honors, Whyte was awarded the Portrait Society of America’s Gold medal and the Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest honor in the arts.

WE THE PEOPLE: Portraits of Veterans in America by Mary Whyte opens in the Huth, Boeing, Salmon and Haws galleries of the Huntsville Museum of Art on June 27, 2021. A 136-page book, containing 67 color and 50 black and white illustrations, will be available for purchase in the Museum Store. There will be a preview party on Friday, June 25 to celebrate the opening. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a lecture, followed by a party and book signing with Mary Whyte. Guests can purchase tickets to the preview party here. Museum Members receive a discount on their ticket. After the opening event, viewing of the exhibition will be included with general admission and free for members. Museum admission can be purchased at the front desk in the lobby or online here. The stunning exhibition will be on display until September 26, 2021.