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Protecting & Celebrating the Land by Faith Evans


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About the work

My late grandparents on their new land in 1951. They migrated from Powhatan, Virginia to Long Island, NY along with thousands of other Southerners in the 1940’s. They were part of the great migration of Black Southerners to Eastern Long Island to work on potato farms. A migration that is not talked about enough. It lasted decades and many unjust challenges and living conditions existed for a lot of the workers.  After 11 years of farming on Long Island, they decided to stay and settle in Eastern Long Island and purchase a home with acres of farmland.
I used graphite pencils on paper with an added twist for the background.  This drawing represents a part of MY American history.  I spent the bulk of my childhood on this land.

Commercial buildings now surround the neighborhood as their house, now vacant and untouched property sits there nestled amongst the busy streets that used to be quiet streets. We are in a time and place where reclaiming this land is essential for our family and our personal history. This land was purchased off of the labor and history of potato farming. The memories that this land holds are priceless. I honor them with this piece. And, continue to bring their memory to present day.

Faith Evans is from Eastern Long Island. She had a passion for art since she was a little girl. Her dream of going to art school was not an option when she graduated from high school. So instead, after college she jumped into a career in advertising in Los Angeles. Decades later, she returned home to Long Island with her young family. In 2020, during lockdown, she had time to be with herself & listen to her heart’s calling to get back into art she picked up a pencil & paper and her new art life began! The passion that was in her young heart returned with even more fire! Her new chapter also aligns with being an advocate & support to the youth. She created art workshops for teens. She illustrated a children’s book soon to be published. She works for 2 nonprofits on Long Island. There she’s able to support kids & teens doing artistic projects. Faith continues to dive into her love for art with commissioned work, illustrating, selling her art & creating more drawings from her heart.

Artwork: Protecting & Celebrating the Land, 2024 by Faith Evans
11 x 17 inches Graphite and Charcoal on paper

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