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The Savannah College of Art & Design’s recognition ceremony honoring Clermont Huger Lee

The Fraser Family was honored to attend The Savannah College of Art & Design’s Savannah Women of Vision 2020 recognition ceremony honoring Clermont Huger Lee on Friday February 14th in Arnold Hall.

Lee, Jay Fraser’s Great Aunt, was a landscape architect best known for her work deigning gardens and parks for historical landmarks. She was the first female landscape architect to own her own practice in Georgia and was considered to be the foremost expert in re-creating historic landscapes in mid-20th century Savannah, Georgia. Some of Lee’s most famous works include the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, the Isaiah Davenport House and the Owens-Thomas House. Lee assisted in founding the Georgia State Board of Landscape architects which now serves as the licensing board for landscape architects throughout Georgia. She was inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement in 2017.

The genesis of Wallace's Savannah Women of Vision initiative, which elevates a traditionally underrepresented – and yet tremendously influential – demographic, can be traced to the 1930s' Works Progress Administration mural featured in the historic Arnold Hall theater. The mural, a visual ode to the titans of Savannah's history, is notable in its omission of women. Wallace found this imbalance especially disconcerting given studies that prove strong female leadership has a salutary influence on society as a whole.

By symbolically righting the historical record, Wallace added ten paragons of civic virtue to the walls of Arnold Hall in 2016 and has continued to add dynamic women each year since. As a permanent tribute, relief portraits of the women, carved by SCAD alumnus Michael Porten now adorn the walls of Arnold Hall. The university offers tours of the Women of Vision portrait installation in Arnold Hall to K-12 students and educators. A free curriculum guide provides historic context to the portrait installation.

As Wallace explains, "Savannah as we know it rests on the triumphs of its women — mothers, entrepreneurs, authors, patriots, philanthropists. I created the Savannah Women of Vision at SCAD to illuminate trailblazers and their transcendent work, keeping their names and deeds not only in our hearts, but publicly acclaimed. These are our heroines."

Please visit https://www.scad.edu/event/2020-02-14-savannah-women-vision for more details.

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