Gullah Celebration on St. Helena Island

In keeping with history and tradition the Corner Community on St. Helena Island, SC is gearing up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. The businesses at the Corner are planning an array of activities to recognize Memorial Day, a holiday the people of St. Helena Island have always celebrated as part of their American heritage.

Sea Island Breezes by Diane Britton Dunham

“Sea Island Breezes” by Diane Britton Dunham

The Red Piano Too Art Gallery is hosting a special art exhibit on May 24, 2014, featuring the work of well-known lowcountry artist Diane Britton Dunham. The theme of this show is “The Gullah Creole Caribbean Connection.” Gullah Creole is the term coined by Dunham because it best describes her artwork blending elements of her colorful Louisiana Creole roots with the rich historical Gullah culture of the Sea Islands. She will discuss the Gullah Creole Caribbean art connection and related history during the exhibit.

Noted Beaufort musician and Dunham’s husband, Phil Griffin, will provide music for the Gullah side of the event from 12 Noon until 2 pm, playing classic Southern Blues and traditional Gullah music.

A collection of Gullah themed needlework hangings by Bridget Murray will also be exhibited. These pieces emphasize the detail Murray incorporates in her work.

The Red Piano Too Art Gallery presents the East of the River Steel band from Washington D.C. This band is made up of young people ages 6 to 19, in a program which enhances lives, builds confidence and fosters resiliency as it also develops a love and appreciation of the arts. The band will present a special concert from 2 pm to 3 pm. This is a must see performance according to long time Caribbean resident, Elayne Scott, who said “These young people literally transported me to the Caribbean when I heard their mastery of the steel pans. The pans are not easy to play, yet this band performs as well as any pan band from the islands of the Caribbean. What a treat to hear the beautiful rhythms.”

An additional exhibit of Lauren DeLoach‘s lowcountry paintings celebrating regional natural beauty will be presented at Bella Vita and Octopuses which are across the street and next door to the Red Piano Too Art Gallery.

All activities are free and open to the public throughout the Corner. For additional information contact the Red Piano Too Art Gallery, 870 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island S.C. 29920, phone (843) 838-2241.

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