The Coastal Discovery Museum is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition Binya: Faces ob de Gullah Geechee, opening March 4, 2023. Featuring over 30 portraits and related objects from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition will delve into varied stories of individuals from across the Gullah Geechee corridor.
Co-curator Angela Dore notes, “Many of us identify with the culture in terms of the sense of place that we have from our family roots being here and being raised within the corridor, many of us remain actively engaged with the cultural practices, and others identify with the culture because of their lineage. For example, their parents or grandparents may have grown up within the corridor and passed the dialect, spiritual beliefs, and foodways down to them. We still cook like our grandmothers did. We remember the stories, values, and lessons that our elders taught us, and we teach those things to our children.”
An exhibition of portraits was selected as a way of showing the
perseverance of this culture while also highlighting the individuality within it. While the Gullah Geechee community has suffered many hardships, it remains one of the oldest cultural groups still thriving as a “nation within a nation.” The diversity of the images presented embodies the diversity of those who have called this place home for centuries. In addition, the exhibition will address how Gullah Geechee artists portray themselves and their community in comparison to portraits painted by outside artists. What do they consider crucial to their identity in how they are represented? How are generational differences represented in these images? Reflect on these questions and the beauty of their culture when you explore this exhibition.
Recent acquisitions and commissions for the collection at the Coastal Discovery Museum will be featured along with numerous loans from regional artists and collectors. Elizabeth Greenberg, the museum’s Director of Exhibitions, notes, “At its core, a portrait is meant to capture not just the physical appearance, but the identity and personality of a subject. The medium has traditionally been used as a way to honor those we value, while providing a visual remembrance for present and future generations. As we delved into this subject, we were excited to discover the range of portraits of significant members of the community. And we were particularly thrilled to commission Natalie Daise to paint Dr. Emory Campbell and Anthony Johnson to draw Ms. Louise Cohen, as well as acquiring Curtis Phillips’ portraits of Joe Legree and Alex Brown.” These new acquisitions will be unveiled alongside work by Sam Doyle, Jonathan Green, Walter Greer, Charles Edward Williams, Nancey B. Price, Lisa Rivers, and Amiri Farris, among others.
The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Greenberg, Director of Exhibitions at the Coastal Discovery Museum and Angela Dore, Research Coordinator for the Wilson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia.
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 9 from 5-7pm
Curator’s Tours: Tuesday, March 21 at 1pm and Saturday, May 6 at 1pm
Collage Night with Nancey B. Price: Thursday, April 27 at 5:30pm
Please visit https://www.coastaldiscovery.org/ for more events and information.