About the Artist - Diane Britton Dunham

About the artistAbout the Cover Artist
Diane Britton Dunham

Diane Britton Dunham was born an artist, doodling on furniture and walls since she was old enough to hold a crayon. Like most notable folk artists, Diane didn’t rely on formal training. Rather, she nurtured her God given talent as she created over 1000 pieces in the last 30 years.

For years, Ms. Dunham worked a traditional job out of necessity and painted at night, finding her true passion and fulfillment in that sacred time and space where creativity flows. Sometimes she’d get caught up in a piece and paint the whole night away. In the 1980s Ms. Dunham became interested in history and genealogy. She sought stories from the elders. Finding them a great source of inspiration, she began painting pieces of the past, capturing the beauty of Gullah-Creole tradition and African American Southern Culture for which she is known.

Art is how Ms. Dunham makes sense of the world, driven by a desire to express herself, she often paints and creates collages that she has yet to share with the world. For now, she’ll keep those pieces of her soul close to home. When asked about how her paintings speak to the world, she said, “The arts have always been integral in making people aware of things. An image can draw someone home, bring them to tears, remind them of family and home.” About the artist 2

Ms. Dunham soon began to gain notoriety, appearing on a number of magazine covers, including Pink Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine and many others. She began presenting at colleges and universities and teaching workshops. She has received numerous awards and honors from organizations such as the Artisan Center, the Gullah Festival, and the Beaufort Art Association. Internationally recognized, Ms. Dunham’s work can be found in private collections around the world. She has exhibited nationally from D.C. to Texas. Locally, her work can be found at the historic Penn Center, as well as The Red Piano Too Art Gallery in St. Helena.

This month’s cover is called “Sea Island Night Walk.” It is one of a series of “blue paintings.” While Ms. Dunham is known for her vibrant colors, she says that there are some emotions that vibrant colors just can’t capture. She uses indigo in this piece to invoke a feeling of peace, tranquility and harmony. “All of the blue pieces are spiritual, more spiritual than my other paintings.”