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Event Details

Painting the Stories: Glimpses of Gullah by Samantha Claar

When: Jul 24, 2024
From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Art League of Hilton Head Gallery
14 Shelter Cove Lane, HHI, SC 29928
Contact: (843) 681-5060

Painting the Storiesat Art League this Summer

Local favorite Samantha Claar to showcase her recent work


Samantha Claar's work portraying the Gullah-Geechee lifestyle will be on view this July and August at Art League of Hilton Head. The boldly colored paintings, often painted on recycled or salvaged materials, are inspired by Claar's dreams or "nighttime roamings." "They visited and demanded that I paint what they were showing me...We argued about this for a long time because I had never painted a human figure...but they were very sure. That is how my love for the Gullah-Geechee and their unique culture was born."


Claar is a self-taught artist who began painting in her 40s. She joined the art scene on Tybee Island in the 1990s, where she opened a gallery with a friend. Once she began dreaming of the Gullah-Geechee and their stories, she educated herself about the people and their history so she could better "paint the stories" and, in turn, educate the people who visited her gallery and had a desire to know more. In 2012, she opened Fine Folk Galleries, the first Gullah art market in Savannah's City Market. 


Claar celebrates the Southern lifestyle that can be traced back to Gullah contributions. The cities built with their labor, their foods, their knowledge of the sea and tide, of fishing methods and sustainable use of land and sea. "Trace our 'Southern roots' and there you find the G-G as the root system that made it all possible," she says.


"I want you to take this with you: Wow! I never realized, assimilated, or understood just how much my life was impacted by the introduction of the Gullah-Geechee and the rich, vibrant culture that they crafted in the midst of unspeakable conditions...While looking at my work: I want you to experience the joy of being a fellow human with these remarkable people."


Painting the Stories runs July 23 through August 23. An opening reception will be held Wednesday, July 24, 5-7pm. Claar will also host a Gallery Walk on Thursday, July 25, at 11am, where she will discuss her work, influences, and processes. The exhibit, reception and gallery walk are free and open to the public. 



Painting the Stories: Glimpses of Gullah by Samantha Claar



Exhibit: Tuesday, July 23 through Friday, August 23, 2024. Art League Gallery open every day: Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12-4pm and 90 minutes before every Arts Center performance.

Opening Reception: Wednesday, July 24, 5-7pm. Enjoy refreshments and meet the artist. Free and open to the public. 

Gallery Walk: Thursday, July 25, 11am. Join the artist on a tour of her work.



Art League Gallery is located mid-island inside Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, 843.681.5060.



Art League of Hilton Head is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit visual arts organization on Hilton Head Island with a synergistic art gallery and teaching Academy.


Art League Academy welcomes artists and students in all media at all skill levels, including true beginners. Taught by professional art educators, students can choose from many art classes and workshops that change monthly. 


Art League Gallery features local artwork in all media created by more than 250 member artists. All artwork on display is for sale and exhibits change every month. Located mid-island inside Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, next to the box office. Art League Gallery open every day Monday - Saturday 10am – 4pm & Sunday 12 – 4pm plus 90 minutes prior to all Arts Center Performances.


“Inspiring visual arts for our community and its visitors through exhibitions, education and partnerships” is Art League of Hilton Head’s mission.