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Betty Schwark: 1918-2008

Betty Schwark was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute where she was priviledged to study under such famous painters as Thomas Hart Benton. Benton was one of the artists funded by the federal government to visually document the faces and landscapes of the depression. Betty later worked as a commercial fashion illustrator for the newspaper in Kansas City.

She retired to Charleston, SC in 1980 and began painting daily. At the “young” age of 65, she took studied watercolor. Thus began a beautiful career as one of Charleston’s finest watercolor artist. She was a member of Gallery 12, the first co-op gallery in Charleston. She and her daughter, the late Linda Farrior, opened Cobblestone Studios in the Rainbow Market on North Market Street in 1990.

Betty continued to study with accomplished painters such as Robert E. Wood, Ray Kinstler, Charles Reid, and Christopher Shink throughout her career, often switching mediums. “It stretches you to work in more than one medium,” she said.

She felt that Charleston was an artist’s Mecca. “Once you’ve mastered the palette...mixing the colors...knowing what goes together...you can forget your palette and just paint. That’s the key to being a successful artist.”