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Minnie Evans Birthday Celebration

December 10 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Minnie Evans


Donations Appreciated


CAM is honored to host our annual celebration of local artist Minnie Evans! 

12-12:30 PM

Art Activities 


1 PM Performance, Joyce Grear as Miss Minnie

Registration Required; Suggested Donation: $10

Miss Minnie, a biographical sketch performed by Joyce Grear

This monologue, written by Ben Steelman, captures the deep connection between Minnie’s spiritual and artistic life.

Joyce Grear is a native of Wilmington who uses storytelling to teach and to build community.  She has toured the U.S. since 1987 bringing to life many African American heroines whose stories she feels inspired to share.  Her research into Evans dates to the dedication of the Bottle House that honors Minnie Evans’ time at Airlie Gardens.  Joyce is the “griot” of Wilmington, teaching all ages through workshops, plays, and non-profit programs throughout North Carolina.




2-3 PM Work-in Progress Film Screening and Slide Presentation with Director Linda Royal and Dr. Elizabeth Penton 

Minnie Evans, compelled by dreams and visions throughout her life, embraced the calling to “draw or die” in 1935.  Well known for her gardens and spiritual imagery, Evans added to her body of work daily with paintings and drawings in wax crayons and graphite.

The Ackland Art Museum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds an important painting by Minnie Evans that is unusual in style and story. Come hear about the World War II context and the fascinating twists and turns that culminate in this work by Wilmington’s famous Artist.

At 2:30 PM, Elizabeth Penton will present rarely seen drawings by Minnie Evans from the CAM’s slide archive featuring an important motif in the artist’s work: the sunrise.   

Linda Royal and Liz Penton are collaborating with the Cameron Art Museum on a documentary film titled Minnie Evans: Draw or Die.  With never before published historical photographs, pictures by the artist, and interviews with the family, the film is set for release in mid 2024.  Liz Penton, former university instructor and adjunct at UNCW, is also researching a book on Evans’s life and art. Minnie Evans 1892-1987: A Beautiful Light.

Dr. Elizabeth Penton is from Wilmington and earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She held positions as an instructor and administrator at the university level for over 30 years prior to retiring this past spring. Her area of teaching expertise is Non-Western Art. A deep interest in visionary art and personal connection to the Wrightsville Sound community continue to inspire her work on Evans.

Linda Royal’s documentaries have won awards at U.S. and foreign film festivals and reached audiences globally through educational use, community events and corporate screenings. Her film’s topics have included artist Clyde Jones, grassroots theater, environmental justice and plastic pollution. She first saw art by Minnie Evans at her friend Liz Penton’s home and was inspired by the documentary The Angel That Stands by Me to direct a new project about Evans for 21st century audiences.





December 10
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category: