Gullah artist Evans opens new studio on Hilton Head Island

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Artist and visual storyteller Sonja Griffin Evans, known for her cultural Gullah-Geechee mixed-media artwork and paintings, has opened a new art studio on the south end of Hilton Head Island.

The studio, at 32 Palmetto Bay Road, Suite 10A, will feature a collection of her paintings, mixed media art, and authentic handcrafted Gullah jewelry and market gifts.

Evans, an internationally renowned artist, is a crucial player in the cultural preservation of American History through her art. Each piece encapsulates the lifestyle of African Americans after the Civil War.

The stories the paintings tell are monumental and are rooted in the foundations of love, culture, family, tribulation, perseverance and faith.

Evans's art collections have been featured nationally and internationally. Her latest collection, "American Gullah," was most recently dedicated to the historical Reconstruction Era National Historic Park landmark in Beaufort, where the artist was born and raised.

Evans's paintings are more than just a work of art; they are the fabric of a very robust lineage, a fascinating culture that is paramount to American history as we know it. Evans feels her purpose as an artist is to share her culture with the world and to illuminate its value.

Evans uses her art to capture the spirit of her ancestors and to educate people about the greatness of those ancestors. "My ancestors were not slaves," she said. "They were masterful craftsmen and agricultural engineers before they were enslaved because of their intelligence. That's what I try to convey through my artwork."

Her mission is for tourists who visit the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, where the Gullah culture originated, to be able to meet the natural people of the land and to experience their culture, authenticity and artwork when they patronize these local areas.

Evans's work is also found at the McLeod Plantation in Charleston, Red Piano Too Gallery on St. Helena Island, and Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The main entrance is through Three Sisters Resale.

For more information, visit Sonja GriffinEvans.com.

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