Among the many distinguished alumni of the Mars Hill Anderson Rosenwald School is local watercolor artist Charity Ray. She devoted her career to education and served in Mars Hill University’s Education Department and Library from 1970 to 2009. Born on June 1, 1937, Charity was called home to begin her heavenly journey on October 2, 2020.
Charity began her artistic journey at the age of five at the MHARS and continued to develop her creative voice at the segregated Allen School for Girls in Asheville. Enriching and sharing her artistic talent was one of her lifelong pursuits. Charity attended summer workshops at Mars Hill College taught by Florida watercolorist Frank Jennings, and sold her original artwork — now cherished collectors’ items — both on campus and within the Mars Hill community.
Charity was a valued member of the Church Mice Artists, a group of 15 women who originally began painting together in a class at the A-B Tech/Marshall campus in 2003, eventually becoming a dedicated crew who gathered to paint together every Thursday morning at the Fellowship Hall of the Mars Hill United Methodist Church. Their work is included in collections hanging at Mars Hill University, Lake Junaluska Methodist Assembly, and Mars Hill United Methodist Church.
A limited number of original works by Charity Ray will be available for sale. Prints of her renderings of Mt. Olive Baptist Church and the Mars Hill Rosenwald School will also be available. Per Charity’s wishes, the proceeds from selling her prints are to be divided equally between Mt. Olive Baptist Church and the Mars Hill Anderson Rosenwald School, who in turn will donate funds to Charity’s Scholarship established at MHU.
Mars Landing Galleries is located at 37 Library Street in Mars Hill. Visit MarsLandingGalleries.com.