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Black Art Heritage: 5 Gullah Artists to Support

Black Art Heritage: 5 Gullah Artists to Support

Interested in adding Gullah art into your home or office? Well this feature about Gullah artists will help you do just that! 

Collecting artwork that reflects our culture and heritage is what many of us strive to do in order to add personality and customization into our living or work quarters. We tend to find pieces of artwork that either tells a story of our childhood or highlights a specific piece of history. Any Lowcountry Southern Belle should know that in order to find relevant artwork for their childhood they must find a passionate Gullah artist who creates arts from their experience and true love for Gullah culture. 

Down below are 5 thoughtful and zealous Gullah artists who create an array of different Gullah artwork.

5 Gullah Artists to Support

  1. Virginia Watson

Creative from Charleston, SC, Virigna Watson, is capable of creating unique handmade dolls. Watson specializes in faceless African American dolls that can be seen wearing afrocentric head wraps (a Lowcountry favorite), beaded earrings, while carrying a sweet grass basket. Replicated from Gullah culture, Watson says these dolls are “inspirational as they bring to you the sweet smell aroma of Charleston, SC.”  

  1. Saundra ” Renee” Smith

This native of St. Helena Island is one of many self taught Gullah artists.  However, Ms. Smith’s goal is rooted deeply in upbringing. Saundra aspires to capture the full historical perspective and lifestyle of Gullah people. From colorful dresses and basket weaving to Gullah seashores and black family life, this Lowcountry artist can create almost anything Gullah by using acrylic on canvas, board, old tin, or glass window panes. She has also recently created a Gullah-Opoly which is a full board game that reflects monopoly, but celebrates the culture of the Gullah experience. 

  1. Diane Britton Dunham

Writer, historian, and most of all Gullah artist, Diane Dunham, is passionate about Gullah history but has deep Lousianna roots. Similar to other Gullah artists, Ms. Dunham captures what Gullah culture is all about but, her Lousianna roots allowed for her to discover many commonalities between those of the Sea Islands, specifically St. Helena (Gullah-Gullah) Island where she considers home, and can be seen in much of her artwork. 

  1. Patricia Elaine Sabree

Sabree is a Lake City Gullah artist who is known for painting about her life growing up in Gullah culture and being surrounded by her large family and group of friends.  Besides being a graduate of the HBCU South Carolina State University and receiving a Master’s of Education from Southern Wesleyan, Central, South Carolina, Sabree creates artwork with bold brushstrokes, vibrant colors, cross-sectional patterns and oftentimes featureless individuals. Check out Sabree’s Gallery by clicking here. 

  1. Natalie Daise

Sweetgrass baskets and collard greens (two of Gullah people’s favorite items) is what can be found in Natialie Daise artwork.  As a born storyteller, Ms. Daise shows no problem when it comes to telling stories through her artwork. She is known for her collard green paintings that can almost fall off the image onto your plate, and spread images that reflect tales that would have been told around the kitchen table for dinner. Check out more of Ms. Natalie Daise’s works here. 

Gullah artwork is not capable of every artist. Only special and heartfelt individuals are able to share history through artwork. Because the Gullah community has such a positive and impactful influence on South Carolinians, it is only right that we continue to support artists who remind us daily what our ancestors accomplished. To keep up with each of these Gullah artists, follow them on their social media and continue to check with Black Southern Belle for more Gullah artists and artwork. 

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