Charleston, South Carolina, artist Alice Ann Dobbin has been drawing and painting since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Born in an ethnic neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was selected to attend special classes for the artistically gifted while still in elementary school. The classes were held at what later became Carnegie Mellon University, an incubator of talent producing many nationally prominent artists.
For Dobbin, the creative endeavor was always a deeply rooted need, rather than a pastime. Her high level of energy, even at an early age, manifested itself into late-night artistic projects, which were unpopular with her working-class parents, who considered her an unusual, but talented child.
Also a gifted writer, she graduated with a degree in journalism and advertising from Pennsylvania State University and won numerous graphic awards in the field of communications. She later obtained her art degree from Washington and Jefferson College where she was honored with the prestigious Beta Scholar designation by the president of the college.
Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Dobbin taught art at elementary, high school, and college levels and also worked as a private consultant in art and graphic design. During her early years in teaching, she pioneered the integration of art history into the practical arts curriculum from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
Although her current focus is oil painting, her extensive body of work includes etchings, mezzotints, watercolors, and pastels. A member of Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, and Artists for Conservation, her work appears in numerous private, public, and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia and is included in the collection of a former United States president.
Dobbin’s journey of faith has been a very ecumenical one. It began with her maternal grandmother, Anna Fedasz. She remembers going with her as a youngster to Protestant churches of various denominations. Church was an all-day event, and they often packed a lunch. Although her parents were not churchgoers, they encouraged her to attend. Occasionally, she also would attend Catholic mass with her childhood friend, Janet (Koretzka) Johnson. Dobbin’s father and his sisters were also Catholic and her great-aunt, Sister Cornela, was a nun in of the order of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Most of her early spiritual influence, however, was from her grandmother, who became an evangelist toward the end of her life and was sought after by people of the community for prayers and support.
Although she did not regularly attend any church throughout college, Dobbin felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in her life and prayed that she would have a devout Christian husband. It was not until she married that she became fully aware of the importance of the Lord in her life and her family. After raising two children, it was an act of faith for Dobbin and her husband to leave their jobs and open an art gallery. Today, they still consider each sale a gift from our eternal provider and take pride in the motto on the gallery door: “By the Grace of God.”