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Jim Harrison awarded honorary degree

University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides, left, and USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Tom Hallman, right, pose with Denmark artist Jim Harrison at USC Aiken's May 2010 graduation ceremony.

AIKEN - Renowned artist Jim Harrison has been awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from the University of South Carolina.

The honor was bestowed on Harrison for his many years as a professional artist, the prestige he has brought to the university and the state, and his generosity to various charitable organizations. The degree was awarded by USC President Dr. Harris Pastides at the USC Aiken graduation ceremony on May 6.

"Jim Harrison is a true South Carolina treasure," said Dr. Tom Hallman, USC Aiken chancellor. "He is an incredible artist and person who shares his talents with so many. Over the years, his artwork has brought joy to many people and his generosity to so many charitable causes has benefited our state in countless ways. The university was very pleased to recognize his contributions will this well-deserved honor."

Harrison, who has more than 100 sold-out limited editions of the prints made from his paintings and thousands of collectors of his work across the country, has had successful one-man shows at the Hammer Galleries in New York City and the Conacher Gallery in San Francisco. His paintings have also been included in the annual shows at the National Academy Gallery in New York.

In 2008, Harrison was honored by the governor with the Order of the Palmetto for his many years of service as a citizen of South Carolina. He was also honored that same year by the S.C. House of Representatives for his many contributions to art and the state.

In addition to his artwork, Harrison is the author or illustrator of several books, including "Pathway to a Southern Coast," "Country Stores," "American Christmas," "The Passing" and "Jim Harrison His World Remembered." Over the years, Harrison has shared his success with charitable organizations including the American Dietetic Association Foundation, USC Aiken, the Agricultural Heritage Center in Blackville, Aiken County Helpline, SCETV, 4-H clubs, local churches and more. Most recently, he was selected as the official artist to create the "Celebrate Aiken" poster for the 175th anniversary of the city of Aiken, and hosted a retrospective of his life and work in Aiken in April 2010.

A USC graduate, Harrison lives and works in his hometown of Denmark with his wife, Margaret. For more information, visit jimharrison.com.

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