Mary Sterner Lawson is a native of Ohio and holds a Ph.D. in English from Bowling Green State University. A professor of English at Albany State University from 1973-2004, she retired to Tallahassee in 2004. An exhibiting artist in Georgia and Florida since the mid-eighties, she primarily works in watercolor, pen and ink. Months spent in Finland and the Netherlands, two Fulbright-Hays month-long programs to China and Brazil, and extensive travels outside the United States have provided subject matter for scores of ink drawings and paintings. She came back from her first visit to China with over 200 drawings. During her 32 years of university life, hours and hours of lengthy academic meetings honed her portrait sketching skills. In fact, the president of the university from which she retired borrowed her sketches of faculty and staff members and had them scanned into the university archives. A 1996 painting by Lawson, June Bug's Grocery, led to a massive oral history project focusing on a South Albany African American community that was devastated by a catastrophic flood in 1994. Her book, June Bug's Grocery and the Cornfield Jook: A South Albany Oral History, was published by Arcadia Publishing Company in 2003. Currently Lawson writes and paints at her home studio in Tallahassee, Florida.