Minnie Evans paintings and drawings depicts scenes from the artist’s private dream world. Evans was born in 1890, the only child of Joseph and Ella Kelley, farmers who lived in rural Pender County, North Carolina, near Wilmington. Evans’ parents moved to Wilmington during her early childhood, and that is where she attended school through sixth grade. She then married Julius Evans of Wilmington and had three sons. Evans traced her background to a maternal ancestor who was brought to the US from Trinidad as a slave. There are elements in Evans’ art that invite comparison to Caribbean folk art forms, though the artist only once traveled outside her native North Carolina. The bright colors and floral motifs that appear in her paintings were most likely inspired by trees and flowers, especially azaleas, at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington where Evans worked as a gatekeeper for many years.

Portrait courtesy of Wikipedia