Patz Fowle Visual Arts Studio Dedication Ceremony
October 14, 2021
HARTSVILLE, SC - On October 13, 2021, GSSM held the official dedication ceremony for the Patz Fowle Visual Arts Studio in the front courtyard. Patz Fowle is an award-winning professional artist who works in various media, from hand-built ceramics to large-scale, public art sculptures. She has been on staff at GSSM since 1999 and built the school’s visual arts program from the ground up.
Dr. Emilye Mobley, the Vice President for Student Development & Professional Growth, began the ceremony by welcoming everyone and introducing Ms. Fowle.
President Daniel S. Dorsel spoke about her accolades as a multimedia artist and as GSSM’s pioneer for the arts. Her work as a professional artist includes “Onward & Upward” (right), a collaboration with her husband and creative partner Mike Fowle. The statue honored the late physicist and NASA astronaut Ronald McNair. She also created the Patz Process Ceramic Technique, a method to model clay by hand, recognized by the American Ceramic Society.
In 1999, she began teaching Art in the Interim, a January Interim class at GSSM. In 2013, she converted an empty foreign languages room into the “Open Art Studio,” a colorful art room accessible to all students. She taught multiple disciplinary art classes and ultimately signed on as a full-time art instructor in 2018, teaching four classes for credit. She continues to be the school’s most fierce advocate for creative expression through her multiple art classes, her interdisciplinary opportunities, and the many outlets she provides for students.
Mr. Dorsel finished his speech by reading out anonymous evaluations from some of her former students. One read:
“I loved this class so much. It not only was an outlet for me to relax during stressful times, but I found a passion for this art and hope to continue it in the future.”
Student Council Co-Presidents Ainara Garcia and Firdavs Nasriddinov took to the podium next. Ainara was in one of Ms. Fowle’s summer classes and spoke of how the experience inspired her own creativity. “As presidents, we speak for the student body and we are confident when we say that knowing Ms. Patz is a privilege in life,” said Ainara. “There is no one else in the world with such an amazing personality. Her optimism, confidence, and outlook on life bring such light and joy to the student body.”
Firdavs gave Ms. Fowle a bouquet of flowers afterward.
Lastly, President Dorsel presented Ms. Fowle with a plaque to commemorate the event. It reads:
“Your steadfast passion and positivity, your boundless talent, and your unrelenting spirit created an art program and studio that foster and contribute daily to the creativity and wellness of the GSSM community. In recognition of your impact and contributions, this space is named in your honor as an expression of gratitude for your service and commitment to your continued legacy.”
A duplicate is on the wall outside of the Patz Fowle Visual Arts Studio. The ceremony finished with Ms. Fowle. She talked about the seed that creative expression provides and how true art affects the individual, the people around them, and the community as a whole.
GSSM is honored to dedicate the Visual Arts Studio to Ms. Patz Fowle. Her unbridled enthusiasm and passion for the visual arts program have shaped the school into what it is now. She has proven that even the most analytical students deserve a creative outlet.