Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Two items in the news this past week have really given me pause to reflect on this fact. I found out about both via Facebook groups, which tend to make all local news spread further than any national news network. In one story, the city of Los Angeles had plans to close two arts centers that operate at the Watts Towers complex, which would have effectively closed the towers to visitors. The towers, built over a period of several decades by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, are one of the greatest, if not the greatest, environmental achievements by a folk artist in the United States. A community campaign was successful in getting the City Council to reconsider its plans and keep the Towers complex open.
Evans came to Wilmington with her mother in 1893, when she was a year old. Her mother remarried a man who was employed by Pembroke Jones, a wealthy industrialist, and by the age of 17 Minnie found work as a domestic in the Jones household. Jones’ wife, Sarah Green Jones, was the one who established Airlie Gardens.
Fenimore Art Museum collection (above, painted between 1963 and 1967, and donated to FAM by Jane Ferrara).
Minnie sold her artwork at Airlie, and had her first “exhibitions” there. She died in 1987, but her work is so connected with the site that a local artist created a memorial sculpture garden within Airlie in her honor (see Bottle Chapel below) And just last month, on March 10, Airlie hosted a “Green Day” tribute to Minnie with free admission to the Gardens.