Caroline Rust Ward
Michelle currently serves as President of the Women's Art Initiative (WAI). She joined the WAI board in 2018 and immediately was inspired by the women serving, their mission, and incredible accomplishments. Michelle has a passion for the arts and is proud to serve on this board. She is eager to see all that the future holds for art in our community.
Introducing Caroline Rust Ward, our Vice President who has served on the board since 2016. She creates artwork under the name Caroline Rust, and she has a passion for public art. Caroline says, 'Public art provides a community with easy access to art and design for pleasure, beautification, and education.'
Stephanie joined the WAI Board in 2020. She has a passion for the arts and enjoys the community that art brings. Stephanie serves on the Public Relations committee, and as a native of Rock Hill, enjoys the beautification public art brings for the greater Rock Hill area.
Pam joined the WAI board in 2018. Pam says, 'I am proud and honored to serve as the website administrator for this outstanding organization of creative and caring women dedicated to making a difference in downtown Rock Hill.'
Meet Lori. Lori came to Rock Hill in 2021 to serve as the Executive Director for the Arts Council of York County. Part of Lori's appeal for her to move to a new part of the country was the city's interest in public art. She is pictured here on Little Island in NYC, on an urban park on the Hudson River where you can experience art and nature. We're happy to have you serving on the WAI Board, Lori!
Rebecca joined the WAI board in 2019 and is proud to be a part of this female-led organization, working to bring art to Rock Hill for all to experience and enjoy. Follow along with Rebecca at @house.of.drennan. "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." - Edgar Degas
Meet Ashley! Ashley is inspired by all the ladies on the board and the creativity everyone brings. Ashley says, "I have loved seeing Rock Hill grow through the arts over the last few years as I've served on the board." Ashley joined us in 2020. Thanks, Ashley!
Meet Suzanne. "I am very honored to be the treasurer of WAI and get to work with all of these wonderful artists. It makes me proud to drive around Rock Hill and see our projects and other public art projects." Thanks Suzanne for all you do for WAI.
Meet Grazier. You don't know WAI without knowing Grazier. She, along with several other women, had a vision to raise private funds to make public art available to the greater Rock Hill community, and WAI was officially launched in January, 2015. Grazier says, "It has been inspiring to experience the collective energy of passionate, dedicated, and talented women to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time to further the quality of life through public art."
Meet Phyllis. Phyllis is an original WAI Board member and a longtime resident and civic advocate of Rock Hill. Thank you, Phyllis, for your involvement with starting WAI and your continued support of our organization!
Carolyn Moore has been a WAI Board member since 2018. She enjoys meeting the people involved in the Arts, forming relationships, and working as a committee member planning the WAI events. Carolyn has also been involved in the WAI Haiku project which uses poetry created by area high school students to paint their work on downtown sidewalks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a stroll along downtown alleys and walkways to read poetry and reflect. Awesome work by our area young people working with the Women’s Art Initiative.
Meet Kathy. Kathy grew up surrounded by art: paintings, oriental rugs, sculpture, ceramics, and music. Despite coming from a family with little artistic talent, this environment fostered a lifelong interest in the arts for Kathy. She has a growing collection of "yard art" that fascinates her family and friends. Kathy and her mother shared many enjoyable afternoons exploring artist studios in the Carolinas, often returning home with a carload full of artwork. Kathy was honored to be asked to serve on the board in 2017 of the Women's Art Initiative, and is thrilled to help with bringing public art to the local community.
Meet Ashley. Ashley says, 'To see the impact that the Women's Art Initiative has had through the commission of public art in our town is incredible. I live right in the middle of old town and I walk our downtown streets every day with my family. Watching firsthand my children being able to take in public art through the hard work and dedication of the WAI makes me so proud to be on this board. As a believer that art should be able to be enjoyed by all walks of life regardless of socioeconomic status, this organization is doing great things for our community and wholeheartedly living up to its mission: the enrichment of life through art.'
Back row: Ashley Owens, Rebecca Bridges, Grazier Rhea, Stephanie Thompkins, Kristen Sessions, Michelle DiEduardo, Ashley Lang, Carolyn Moore, Pam Poag, Suzanne Harnois,. Front row: Caroline Rust Ward, Kathy Wilson, Amanda Foshag, Sara McAllister. Not pictured: Monique Luck, Lori Robishaw, Michele Dupre, Phyllis Ferguson. Nicole Davenport, Lucille Harper, Ashley Stevenson
Monique Luck, Amanda Foshag, Carolyn Moore, Lori Robishaw, Suzanne Harnois, Kathy Wilson, Stephanie Thompkins, Pam Poag, Kristen Sessions, Michelle DiEduardo Caroline Rust Ward, Michele Dupre, Grazier Rhea, Phyllis Ferguson. Not pictured: Rebecca Bridges, Nicole Davenport, Lucille Harper, Ashley Owens, Ashley Stevenson, Emily Wade