Gullah Geechee artwork exhibit now on display at Brookgreen Gardens

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - An art exhibit celebrating the Gullah Geechee culture of South Carolina’s Lowcountry has opened in Georgetown County’s Brookgreen Gardens.

“Collectively Disconnected” features artwork from South Carolina native and folk artist Arun Drummond. His multimedia work depicts Gullah Geechee people and 3d sweetgrass baskets.

Drummond will hold a talk on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium for a more in-depth look into his works and creative process.

Drummond is a South Carolina native residing in the Lowcountry. As the former manager of the Chuma Gullah Gallery, he has spent nearly 20 years educating guests about the rich and unique culture of the coastal south.

The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of West and Central Africans who were enslaved and bought to the lower Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia to work on the coastal rice, Sea Island cotton and indigo plantations. The National Park Service says that because their enslavement was on isolated coastal plantations, sea and barrier islands, they were able to retain many of their indigenous African traditions. These traditions are reflected in their foods, arts and crafts, and spiritual traditions. They also created a new language, Gullah, a creole language spoken nowhere else in the world.

Drummond’s art premiered at the Chuma Gullah Gallery in 2018 and can now be found in the outdoor section of the historic Charleston City Market and at the Lybensons Art Gallery at the Gullah Geechee Visitors Center on St. Helena Island.

Admission to the exhibit and the artist’s talk on Saturday are free to Brookgreen Garden members and free with paid garden admission to non-members.

The “Collectively Disconnected” exhibit runs at Brookgreen Gardens through March 31.

Patrick Phillips

Patrick joined the Live 5 News team in October 2006.