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John Sawvell Staff Photo

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of South Carolina


This is my first-year teaching Art at the High School level since my graduation from the University of South Carolina. I am presently teaching, Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, and Art Appreciation at Calhoun County High School. I have experience working with children from the Girls and Boys Club of America and have participated in workshops for youth sponsored activities by the Department of Art Education. I belong to the NAEA and attend local as well as national conferences. I have an immense portfolio of work in the studio arts, which includes: graphic design, painting in oils, cartooning, comics, sculpture, ceramics and print making. I have been honored on many occasions by my college and community in art exhibitions with special recognition as being one of the best artists in show. I broadened my experience in the world of art making by working with the Charlotte Opera Association in 1970’s in set design and created and built the sets of a variety of Broadway shows. I was the comic artist for the Daily Gamecock, the University of South Carolina newspaper and managed the McMaster undergraduate art gallery. I worked for the University as a digital specialist in the Hollings library with rare books and images. I love photography and most of my free time is spent taking photographs of wildlife along the South Carolina lowcountry. 


     Artist, Art educator, husband to wife Elizabeth Sawvell and father to five exceptional children. ​

    I was born in Hartsville SC, close to my grandparents’ home in Mcbee SC. I was raised in Columbia SC and attended Wildewood High School. I moved to Illinois in 1974 and attended McHenry County College, where I studied studio arts and art history. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of South Carolina as an Art Education Major, and worked at the Thomas Cooper Library as a digital assistant of rare books. My professional life has been a mix of administrative and creative endeavors. The early part of my career I was a retail buyer for Belk department store chain and managed a variety of retail stores. My dream was to become an educator and teach art education. My true calling and passion is to help the students achieve their highest potential. Art is truly the language of mankind: with art, students are free to create and express who they are, and pursue their own happiness as an artist.