The League of Women Voters was established in 1920 by women suffragists once their work for the 19th Amendment was completed. Their purpose was to make democracy work through education and advocacy. One hundred years later, we're still pursuing that mission. Celebrate with us!
A Centennial Mural "Determined: A Tribute to Sarah & Angelina Grimke"
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women’s right to vote, the League of Women Voters of Spartanburg County has commissioned a work of public art to be created in Spartanburg in honor the Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, who were leading abolitionists and suffragists in the 19th century. The mural will be created on the wall of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg facing Henry Street. The mural designer is artist Nancy Corbin and the muralist is Stephen Long.
Sarah and Angelina were originally from Charleston and were frequent visitors to a family farm on the border of Spartanburg County during their childhood summers. The sisters were raised on a plantation owned by their wealthy and well known father. They spent some summers on property near Cross Anchor. They had a typical upper class South Carolina upbringing in the early 1800s. Both became opposed to slavery at an early age.
Sarah moved north first and Angelina followed her in the 1830’s. Thousands of people walked miles to hear them speak on the evils of slavery. The sisters raised money for the abolitionist movement at a time when it was not considered appropriate for women to speak in public. Both of them were criticized for stepping outside of women’s proper roles.
Angelina was the first woman to speak to a state legislature in 1838 when she addressed a committee of the Massachusetts legislature. Because they felt their voices were limited because they were women, the sisters became suffragists to fight for women’s equality.
After the Civil War and the amendment when African American had won the right to vote, the sisters always went to the polls and cast “fake” ballots in a women’s box. In the 1850’s, they found out their father had three sons by a mixed race woman. The sisters paid for two of them to go to Harvard and Howard universities. One went on to Princeton Theological Seminary and was the minister of the 15th Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. for 40 years. The other worked for civil rights, helped found the NAACP in 1909, and became the NAACP President in Washington, D.C., in 1914.
From the collection of the Library of Congress
From the collection of the Library of Congress
Their journey is well documented as they wrote pamphlets, books and many letters. You can see more at:
Nancy Corbin was born in Ohio and moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1976 with her husband Mike as they started a family and each began their budding career in artistic fields. Both became teachers, though they continued pursuing their personal interests. Mike became a photographer while Nancy has cultivated her love for painting.
Nancy studied visual art at Toledo Museum of Art, Banff School of Fine Arts, the University of Cincinnati where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, the University of South Carolina where she earned a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Hemlock Studios, New York University where she earned certification in Arts Administration, Ringling College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, The Creativity Workshop, and Converse College. Nancy adds, “Most of what I really know about visual art comes from my three sons and hundreds of students. I have also been blessed to have a husband and colleagues that excel in the art of critique.”
After teaching in Spartanburg County School District 7 for 14 years, Nancy joined the Spartanburg Day School visual arts faculty in 1991 and taught students a range of subjects from Studio Art to Art History from introductory levels through Advanced Placement. While at SDS she was awarded the Mildred Harrison Dent Endowed Chair, an honor she held until she moved on at the conclusion of 27 years at the school.
Her teaching career was enriched greatly by the dozens of art study tours that Nancy led for her students in New York City, NY; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, CA; Italy; France; Greece; England; Cuba and Spain.
She has served for 12 years as a reader of Advanced Placement Studio Art exams for the Educational Testing Service and The College Board.
Since leaving SDS Nancy spends her time in her studio behind Mayfair Lofts preparing for upcoming exhibits. Watercolor, pastel, printmaking, and collage are important tools in her process. These smaller works on paper often lead to large works in acrylic on canvas. Using a colorist’s brush and figurative abstraction, the layered compositions often connect to her passion for celebrating the living of life.
Recent exhibits include: - Vistas and Paths, The Art Lounge, March-May, 2020 - Determined to Soar, Converse College, Milliken Art Gallery, February 2020 - A Studio of One’s Own, Spartanburg Artists Guild, June 2019 - Nancy Corbin Retrospective, Spartanburg Methodist College, Fall Semester 2018 - WILD, Spartanburg Science Center 40th anniversary exhibit, November 2018 - Favorite Things, Chapman Cultural Center, Guild Gallery, November 2018