A new exhibit at Coastal Discovery Museum, “Binya: Faces ob de Gullah Geechee,” will open March 4 and be on display through July 9 in the main gallery.
An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.
The exhibit features more than 30 portraits and related objects from the 1960s to the present, delving into the varied stories of individuals from across the Gullah Geechee corridor. The word “binya” is a Gullah term for someone who has lived in a place for a long time, those who have “been here.”
“Many of us identify with the culture in terms of the sense of place that we have from our family roots being here and being raised within the corridor, many of us remain actively engaged with the cultural practices, and others identify with the culture because of their lineage,” said co-curator Angela Dore. “For example, their parents or grandparents may have grown up within the corridor and passed the dialect, spiritual beliefs, and foodways down to them. We still cook like our grandmothers did. We remember the stories, values, and lessons that our elders taught us, and we teach those things to our children.”
An exhibition of portraits was selected as a way of showing the perseverance of this culture while also highlighting the individuality within it. While the Gullah Geechee community has suffered many hardships, it remains one of the oldest cultural groups still thriving as a “nation within a nation.”
Recent acquisitions and commissions for the collection at the Coastal Discovery Museum will be featured along with numerous loans from regional artists and collectors.
“As we delved into this subject, we were excited to discover the range of portraits of significant members of the community, said Elizabeth Greenberg, the museum’s director of exhibitions. “And we were particularly thrilled to commission Natalie Daise to paint Dr. Emory Campbell and Anthony Johnson to draw Ms. Louise Cohen, as well as acquiring Curtis Phillips’ portraits of Joe Legree and Alex Brown.” These new acquisitions will be unveiled alongside work by Sam Doyle, Jonathan Green, Walter Greer, Charles Edward Williams, Nancey B. Price, Lisa Rivers, and Amiri Farris, among others.
Curator’s tours will be offered at 1 p.m. March 21 and May 6. Collage Night with Nancey B. Price will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 27.
Coastal Discovery Museum is located at 70 Honey Horn Drive on Hilton Head Island. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit coastaldiscovery.org or call 843-689-6767.