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Black Exhibit Spotlight: The Legacy of the Gullah Geechee

Black Exhibit Spotlight: The Legacy of the Gullah Geechee

Looking to learn more about the Gullah Geechee community through art? You should check out the latest exhibit at the Palmetto Curatorial Exchange, entitled: Struggles and Insights: The Legacy of the Gullah Geechee.  We have images of some of the pieces in the collection below.

Photo Credit: Palmetto Curatorial Exchange

Struggles and Insights: The Legacy of the Gullah Geechee

According to the exhibit website: “The artists shown here draw on their strong Gullah Geechee history depicting the life and heritage of their people. Tison and Gillens use bold colors for large close-up paintings inspired by real life scenes either passed down in verbal tradition from generation to generation or experienced first-hand by the artist themselves.

They show the struggles of their ancestors and African Americans today while celebrating their culture and way of life. Works from the Jonathan Green Collection are inspired by the artist’s vibrant paintings of lowcountry landscapes and Gullah culture. The Inspirations series is based on Green’s costume designs for the 2016 Spoleto production of Porgy and Bess.

The Firegrass pocket square draws on coastal marsh landscapes. White Breeze is from a painting series in which Green highlights African Gullah women. John W. Jones meticulously draws each painting first then layers it with color, resulting in very realistic interpretations of everyday life and landscapes, as well as historical insights into our past. Jones’ works show the struggles that African Americans endured during slavery while attempting to bring humanity to the subject.

“Tison and Gillens work give insight into the powerful, overcoming spirit of the people that were falsely depicted on those bank notes and their beautiful. The memories that they depict of their families, the culture and traditions from their childhood, “show a resilient and determined character that allowed them carry on the qualities they brought with them from Africa in the form of music, religion, storytelling, art, architecture, agriculture, and culinary traditions” according to Jones.”

Want more information about Gullah Geechee culture? Check out the links below:

Struggles and Insights: The Legacy of the Gullah Geechee Exhibition Packet

Exhibiting Artists: Cassandra Gillens, Irene Tison, John W. Jones, and Jonathan Green Collection

South Carolina Educational Television

For more information or to inquire about works please email us at pce@curatingandcollections.com

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes :)

2 Comments

  1. April 13, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    Oooh my goodness I have been at this wonderful website a few times this week. I just love that people are learning and wanting to learn more about the Gullah Geechee culture here in America and the best way to learn is through art. I just love the are work of Gilles! So beautiful and colorful.

    • August 4, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      Visit the Red Piano Too Art Gallery on Saint Helena Island SC and see art by these artists and many others.
      One quarter mile from historic Penn Centers.

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