Minnie Evans

Minnie Evan's Drawing

Minnie Jones Evans was born in 1892, but didn’t begin her art career until 43 years later. She grew up in Wilmington under the care of her Grandmother because her own mother was only 14 years old at the time. Both women wove a rich oral history for Minnie that included tales of her ancestor Moni, a slave in Trinidad who eventually ended up in Wilmington. Despite her love of history, mythology, and the biblical stories of the Baptist faith, Minnie was forced to leave school in the sixth grade to help save money for her family. During the following years, Minnie frequently had vivid dreams that mixed religious and mythical figures in brightly colored landscapes. She didn’t begin to draw these images until she heard a voice tell her she must, “Draw or die.” Minnie drew her first two promptly, and then after their rediscovery five years later, she began to draw with fervor. Her drawings and painting were originally given only to friends or those that requested her artwork while she worked at a gatekeeper at the Airlie Gardens. However as outsiders began to take notice, her work became prolific and was exhibited in galleries up and down the east coast. Minnie continued to draw until her death at the age of 95.

Minnie Evans


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