Wadmalaw Island, SC USA
A Link to the Art of Bernadette Cali
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Each new school year, as I begin to teach art, I have to lay bare the fears of my students -- fear that they won't succeed of course, the little ones are still free, but the teenagers are possessed by the same fears as their parents. "I can't draw." If I hear that one more time I'll scream. Who cares? That's not what it's all about. Art is a search, an adventure, a trial-and-error experiment. There is no failure . . . ever. It's impossible. What an incredible freedom, there's only you and the "problem" at hand. A problem that doesn't even matter. This fearless adventure of creativity is a true and joyous giving of oneself over to the path to enlightenment. Art, like life, is a process, not a product. The only failure is fear....
-- An excerpt from a newspaper article
by Bernadette Cali
Read this and other articles written by the artist at
My father is an artist and I grew up in his studio. I consider myself self taught as I avoid workshops like the plague. Art for me is a discovery of how I see the world, not how somebody else does. I received my formal art education, however, in New York, Milan and South Carolina. My studies were of a philosophical bent, not technical.
Bernadette Cali is a southern Low Country Artist who has long held a romance with the sea island landscape. Born in New Jersey in 1952, she grew up in a rural dairy farm setting approximately 20 miles outside of New York City. After studying at Rutgers University she longed to leave the hustle of the metropolitan area. A trip to West Africa left her ripe for a love of the South Carolina sea islands when in 1977 she became a resident of Wadmalaw Island. There she found the same elegant hospitality of places such as Ghana and Sierra Leone.
Her original watercolors hang in homes and galleries from the Virgin Islands to New York City. She has begun a series of large underwater reef paintings but her first love remains the vanishing life style of her friends and neighbors of the islands. Her first print series "On the Road to The Islands" is now available with her new series "On the Road to Rockville" soon to be printed.
Bernadette lives on Wadmalaw where she teaches art. She is presently working on writing and illustrating a book on the history of Wadmalaw Island.