June to September 2020
Born and educated in Ohio, Diane Britton Dunham draws from
countless memories of her family’s experience as the inspiration for her
artwork. Touched by the commonalities that all Africans in America
share, Dunham creates works that celebrate the common traditions of
the historical African American cultures, particularly those of the
Lowcountry of South Carolina and the coastal parishes of Louisiana.
Dunham spent many childhood years in Louisiana and later, at the age
of 25, she moved to the coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina, where
she has lived over half her life. Both of these highly recognized regions
impact the style, technique, and subject matter that distinguish her
pieces. While the Gullah culture of South Carolina is unique in its
pure preservation of culture through undisturbed African lineages, the
Creole culture is a celebration of the blending of French, African,
Spanish and Native American cultures. Paradoxically, Dunham is able
to capture significant components of each culture within her creations.
Pieces created by Dunham represent the landscape, customs, and
heritage of the coastal areas of both South Carolina and Louisiana as
characterized by marshes, bayous, open and natural sun and moonlight,
and pastoral homes, schoolhouses, and churches. Frequently
incorporating marked elements that characterize her pieces, Dunham is
well known for her brilliant coloring, intricate human and landscape
forms, and themes that represent life in South Carolina’s Lowcountry
region and the bayous of Louisiana.
A self-taught mixed media artist and instructor, Dunham has received
honors and awards from organizations like the Artisan Center, the
Gullah Festival, and the Beaufort Art Association. Her works have also
been featured in national publications including Southern Living
Magazine and Black Enterprise Magazine.
Dunham currently resides in Burton, South Carolina with her husband,
noted musician Phillip Griffin.