Minnie Evans

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Minnie Evans (December 12, 1892 – 1987) was an African-American folk artist known for her colorful drawings primarily executed in crayon.

Life

Minnie Evans (Jones) was the only child of Joseph Kelly, a farmer, and Ella Jones in Pender County, North Carolina. Ella, then only 14 years old, moved to Wilmington early in 1893 to live with her mother, who soon assumed responsibility for Minnie's upbringing. She attended school through the sixth grade, dropping out in 1903 because of the family's economic hardship, finding a job as a "sounder" selling shellfish door to door. In 1908 she quit to marry Julius Evans. For eight years she was a full-time housewife. The couple had three sons.

Beginning in 1916 Minnie Evans was employed as a domestic at the home of her husband's employer, Pembroke Jones, a wealthy industrialist. The Evans family lived on Jones's hunting estate, "Pembroke Park," known today as the subdivision Landfall. Evans began drawing on Good Friday, 1935. She said "I had a dream, its voice spoke to me: ‘Why don't you draw or die?' ‘Is that it?,' I said, ‘My, My.'" Her son, George, was in the house and said she came out her bedroom door "screaming and hollering." That morning she completed a pair of small pen-and-ink drawings on paper; these works, dominated by a pattern of concentric circles and semicircles upon a background of lines, became greatly significant to her in her later life. Most of her...
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