Honorees

August, 2012

Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, PhD

Educator, Lecturer and Fiber Artist

Dr. Marlene Linton O’Bryant-Seabrook, a third generation educator, holds a BS from South Carolina State College, MAT from The Citadel, and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. She was a classroom teacher, central staff administrator, and, in 1975, became the first African American and one of only two women on The Citadel’s permanent faculty.

Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook had no familial quilters, took an eight week quilting class in the 1980s and became a nationally exhibited quilter in 1992. Certified by the South Carolina State Department in Elementary Education, Mentally Handicapped, Learning Disabilities, Psychology, and Elementary Administration, she approaches quilting from the dual focus of an educator and an artist. She substitutes fabric and thread for canvas and oils to create original art quilts.

The educator in her, either subtly or overtly, slips “lessons” into her quilts: love of God, family, children; pride in heritage; respect for accomplishments, etc. She has lectured nationally, including American Folk Art Museum (NY) and Cleveland Museum of Art (OH). Her work, shown in several magazines and thirteen books, has been exhibited across the U.S., including twice at The Smithsonian; and internationally in the Republics of South Africa and Namibia, France, and Japan. She was one of 44 nationally recognized fiber artists invited to create a quilt honoring President Obama for an Inaugural exhibition at the Washington Historic Society.

Active in community affairs, she is a past Junior Warden of Calvary Episcopal Church and a Life/Golden member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She served long terms on the Boards of Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture, Hospice of Charleston, and Voorhees College. Present Boards include the International African-American Museum, Twenty Pearls Foundation of Charleston, and Avery Research Center.

Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook is the mother of four (one deceased), grandmother of ten, and great-grandmother of two.