I had a lame excuse — a genuine “lame” excuse – for not saying goodbye to Sonja Griffin Evans when she moved in January. I was recovering from knee surgery. Her Gumbo Gallery, where I bought the small piece of art pictured to the right, is now shuttered and Sonja has moved closer to her South Carolina roots.
Northwest Florida misses her spirit, warmth, energy and enthusiasm. She lived in Pensacola less than a decade, but she energized the Belmont-DeVilliers Historical Area and created new venues and opportunities for local artists. She immersed herself into the community, its spirit and its history. Getting to know Sonja while working with her on “Art in Motion” has been one of my best experiences while living here. She entered each planning meeting filled with joy and offering hugs to everyone.
I’m intrigued by her recent Facebook post featuring her picture with TV news personality Juan Williams at a leadership conference in Washington, D.C. And I’m especially curious about the photo of her on a TV set with her cousin noted Culinary Historian and Chef Kermit Griffin. Does she have a another creative gumbo idea?
Her recent Facebook posts show that her new work is even more beautiful, contemplative and inspiring than her earlier work. How appropriate that this year’s Jazz Fest poster was designed by Sonja. Even in her absence, she inspires us to create.
Click to read past posts about Sonja https://thegumbodiaries.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/distinctive-art-flavors-the-gumbo-gallery/ and the Gumbo Gallery artists https://thegumbodiaries.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/answering-the-call-for-gumbo/