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Dawn Caldwell was born and raised in Casar, NC amidst the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1974 Caldwell graduated from Wingate University. She completed her education in 1996 graduating from USC with a focus in studio art and photography.

While a student at USC Caldwell worked as a photographer’s assistant and discovered copies of historic photos from the University’s Caroliniana Library. Using these photos to complete an assignment for an independent watercolor class, her self-confidence was bolstered by a response from the director of Caroliniana. After seeing her work, he bought her first two paintings for the Library’s collection. Caroliniana has since commissioned her for additional works.

  • Caldwell was selected by the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties as one of six artists to have her painting, ‘Morning Breakfast I’ placed on a billboard to rotate around the two counties.
  • In 2002 she was presented with the Alumna of the Year Award from her college at USC.
  • Newspapers, The Charlotte Observer and the Shelby Daily Star printed articles describing Caldwell’s achievements. The articles were featuring her due to a successful one woman exhibition in Shelby, NC.
  • In 2004 and 2005 she was selected to create the image used to promote the Annual International Festival of Wines and Food.
  • The Carolina Marathon Association used her image ‘A New Capital Night’ for their 2004 Governor’s Cup Road Race and has commissioned her to create images for the 2005, and 2006 races.
  • In 2006 the South Carolina Humanities Council used Caldwell’s painting ‘What a Way to Spend the Day!’ to represent the 10th Anniversary of the SC  Book Festival.
  • The State Newspaper featured Caldwell in 2005 due to her success in finding fulfillment in life.
  • Her work has been described as “luscious, extraordinary, and delightful.

Community involvement has always been a mainstay for Caldwell. Over the years she has enjoyed working with local schools, community organizations and her church. Caldwell’s work is internationally known and hangs in collections worldwide. She accepts commissions for portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in oil and watercolor. Caldwell resides in Columbia, SC.


Edisto Beach SC is by far one of my favorite places to experience Mother Nature. While enjoying a tranquil, relaxing afternoon my pulse began to quicken as the energy building in front of me suddenly approached with a vengeance. Needless to say this added a measure of drama to my otherwise sleepy day.

This is a perfect example of how it feels to me as I paint. The passion and energy are all the same whether working to capture the tranquility of a child’s face or the intensity of one crabbing from a dock. The Low Country offers endless opportunities as inspiration.