Sonja Griffin Evans
Sonja Griffin Evans is an international Cultural Artist born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. Growing up in the Lowcountry, which prides itself on its ability to preserve its culture and heritage, has heavily influenced Sonja's artwork, and gives her an uncanny ability to capture the beauty, spirituality and purest representations of the Gullah Sea Island and of African American culture. As a prolific mix media artist, she incorporates items such as tin, wood and other materials in her art. She is also adept at painting the vibrantly colored art on canvas that is acknowledged as the traditional Gullah style; however by applying texture to her canvas and masterful choice of color, she takes her art a step further to convey more depth and feeling. In both mediums, Sonja is careful to express her culture in its purest form. Evans believes that everything that God has created is not only beautiful, but has a purpose and states nothing should be wasted. She further believes she merely holds the paint brush and God ultimately creates the art.
Sonja is a master storyteller, bringing to life, through art, important historical and cultural heritage events, people and destinations that evokes emotional responses to her artwork. She is also known for her ability to see the beauty in found items and selects each item and unveils the alluring stories these pieces hold within them; reflecting the spirituality of the people of African descent. With her masterful use of color and perspective in her work, Griffin Evans' artwork is constantly evolving. Each piece has a story or inspirational quote that invokes spiritual and cultural insight.
Sonja Griffin Evans is the founder of the National For Artists – By Artists Society and a major contributor in the development for the 'Forgotten Communities Art Program and Director of the Gullah Arts Initiative for the Pan African American Cultural Heritage Intiative, which is a program designed by the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute Inc. to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of people of Pan Africa -via the arts. Evans is the President of the South Carolina Cultural Heritage Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, Inc. and the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Society.
Sonja Griffin Evans and her Gumbo e-Gallery have won many prestigious awards. In 2013 her gallery received the African Diaspora World Tourism Flame Keepers Award for honoring the culture and heritage of people of African Descent. Sonja has personally been named Honoree, Mamie Till Mobley Woman of Courage Award, and was an Onyx Award Nominee. As a highly sought after speaker and advocate for the arts, Evans has been featured on television and radio broadcasts, and in publications; such as DuPont Registry, Southern Lady Magazine, Coastal Lifestyle Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Hilton Head Monthly, From Imagining to Understanding the African American Experience and more. Her artwork is in prestigious galleries, private and corporate collections, nationally and abroad. Sonja's work was recently shown internationally on a three city tour in France, including Tour Saint Aubin, Angers France. Her has been featured by the National Park Service, selected by the Westin Hilton Head Spa and Resort to display permanently commemorating historic Mitchelville and as the Historic Penn Center 2014 Heritage Days featured artist of the year.