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Artist Amiri Farris Brings Gullah Art to Schools in Beaufort with a Foundation Grant

Instilling a sense of pride in students for their local history, art, and culture is best accomplished through hands-on learning! And that’s exactly what happened when Beaufort Elementary School teamed up with Lady’s Island Middle School art students to create a beautiful Gullah mural for each school.

Working with local artist, Amiri Farris, students from both schools had the opportunity to produce two large paintings that capture the essence of the Gullah Culture as part of the Gullah Festival at Beaufort Elementary School. The ability to have an authentic artist-in-residence was thanks to funding from The Bargain Box for a Foundation School Resource grant for the “Gullah Culture Preservation” project submitted by teachers Treva Kent and Debbie Smith from Beaufort Elementary School.

These paintings, displayed at each of the schools, will be a great reminder to students, parents, staff, faculty and visitors of the significance of the Gullah culture.

Beaufort Elementary School held a school-wide Gullah Festival event on February 29, 2024. The event allowed for participation by the entire student body to learn about the Gullah culture. Artists, historians, chefs, authors, dancers, musicians, people from the Gullah culture, parents, and community members were all involved in this year’s festival!

Students from BES and art students from Lady's Island Middle School rotated through a station with Amiri allowing students to work together to create two large paintings that capture the essence of the Gullah culture. The paintings were created on large canvas panels and each panel is now a permanent fixture at both schools. As each group of students rotated through this station, they added an element to the painting that represents the Gullah culture - such as Adinkra symbols, sweet grass baskets, Marsh Tacky horses, shrimping, fishing, indigo, cotton, rice, a bateau, quilting, knitting fish nets, etc. - all with the guidance and encouragement of Amiri.

The completed murals allow the students to be exposed daily to many concepts that represent the Gullah culture. These pieces of art will also promote a sense of pride in the students that have a Gullah heritage. In addition, the art will help the students learn more about the rich history of our local area.

“I hope that they really have a deep appreciation for the Gullah culture and they continue to learn more about it so that it is instilled in them and it is a culture that is celebrated and many of the activities and traditions are passed along so that we are keeping this wonderful culture alive,” says Treva Kent, Art teacher at Beaufort Elementary School. The Foundation is grateful for the funding support of The Bargain Box to help with this great art and cultural experience.


Wouldn't you like to help create a unique educational experience for local students? Make your tax-deductible donation TODAY!


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