Irene Tison
We couldn't be happier about bringing you the art of Irene Tison! She is a true child of the Carolina low country and it seems her heart will always be there. Irene grew up immersed in the Gullah culture of the area along the coastline of South Carolina. The Gullah and the Geechee people are descendants of Africans that were captured and brought to the Atlantic coast to work as slaves on Southern rice plantations. From slavery to today, these relatively isolated communities have nurtured and maintained a distinct cultural identity.
Irene Tison had a happy childhood as the youngest in a large hard-working family. Her parents gave all the children a strong and loving family foundation. As a young girl, Irene developed a deep and lasting bond with her mother, who played an integral part in her love of art. She watched her mother draw pictures after the day's work was done, and soon she was doing the same. Although resources were scarce, Irene's mother always did what she could to support Irene's artistic interests. You can see the results of that love and encouragement in Irene's beautiful paintings.
Irene's brightly colored work is filled with memories of life in the Gullah culture. Some of the scenes are her own personal memories, and some are memories that her mother and father shared with her in their stories. The paintings transport us directly to the heart of the low country. This is a place where the blinding heat of the sun and the steamy sweat of hard work give way to the cool wisteria-sweetened  breeze of a shady path. Here the joyful parade of hats and dresses catches its breath in the moist air of a song-filled church. We are reminded of the warm touch and fresh smell of line-dried sheets, the excitement of spring, and the exhaustion of summer.
There is a story of growing up in the South in every one of Irene Tison’s paintings. As she shares her stories, she hopes that you will feel the joy she finds in her heritage, and the love she holds for her family.
Tillman, SC
To learn more about Gullah Geechee culture, try these links:

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was designated a National Heritage Area in 2006. This is the Corridor’s official website.

Gullah Net
A website for students, teachers, and parents, created by South Carolina ETV.

Gullah/Geechee Nation
News and events blog for the Gullah Geechee community and those interested in Gullah Geechee culture.

“Being Gullah or Geechee, Once Looked Down On, Now a Treasured Heritage”
An article by Ken Otterbourg for National Geographic, October 2014
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Paintings by Irene Tison
NOW through May 28, 2020
The paintings on this page are included in our current show in Hillsborough, NC. They are available for sale.

To see paintings from our past shows of Irene Tison's art

Questions about an item or an artist?...ready to buy?...
GOLDEN HARVEST
24" x 18"
acrylic on canvas
*check availability*
MARY BELL'S BARNYARD
36" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1800
BETSY MAE CHICKENS
18" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1200
MORNING CHURCH SERVICE
20" x 16"
acrylic on canvas
$800
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FROM THE LIST
Historic Alexander Dickson House
Hillsborough Visitors Center
150 E. King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278
BETSY STRING BEANS
24" x 36"
acrylic on canvas
$1800
CHICKENS IN DA YARD
36" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1800
PAPA TEACHING DAY
24" x 18"
acrylic on canvas
$1200
PEARLIE MAE
24" x 30"
acrylic on canvas
$1400
MARY BELL'S FRUIT
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1400
HOLE IN THE WALL
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1400
MORNING ON JOHN'S CREEK
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1400
TO EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$1400
FIRST MORNING LIGHT
24" x 18"
acrylic on canvas
$1200
FRIPP ISLAND BOY
24" x 18"
acrylic on canvas
$1200