January 2023 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Sabreee
One of 15 siblings, Artist Sabreee is a native South Carolinian from the small farm town of Lake City. Though her youth was mostly spent working on her family’s 300-acre farm, Sabreee always knew she had to be an artist.
“I knew from day one I was an artist. It was inside me from the time I knew who I was,” she said.
Unlike many farming families, Sabreee’s parents, along with her brothers and sisters, all supported her passion for art. They encouraged her to be what she wanted to be, but that didn’t get her out of all the daily chores. Her parents were loyal sharecroppers who taught their children the value of hard work, which is certainly what contributed to her strong craving for education and the desire for another way of life.
To escape the dreaded fields of labor, Sabreee obtained a Bachelor's of Arts degree from South Carolina State University and a Master's of Education degree from Southern Wesleyan Central. She taught art for 22 years, four years at the elementary level, 15 years at the high school level and 3 years in middle school. Throughout her teaching career, Sabreee heard a constant little voice telling her she needed a new challenge, she needed to pursue the art inside of her.
As an art teacher, she enjoyed decorating almost the entire school with students' art works and creative bulletin boards. Many teachers caught wind of this, and at their requests, Sabreee started painting pictures, illustrations, and redesigning classrooms. This led to people asking her to paint pictures and illustrations for their homes. She started to build a portfolio and wanted to frame her works. So, while perusing through "Arts, Crafts and Frames Gallery" in Anderson, SC, the owner was amazed by several of her works and inquired if she had ever taken commissions. Once again this was the little voice telling her she needed to be painting.
Her works are reminiscence of her childhood in the Deep South. The rows of tobacco, cotton, watermelon, and cucumber fields from her family’s farm gave the impression of no end in sight, which can be witnessed in many of Sabreee's paintings. Other scenes, such as fishing off the river bank or swamp land; walking barefoot in the rain; running in the blazing sun; climbing a grapevine tree; being whipped across the legs for not doing a chore; little girls' hair being braided; little boys shooting bb guns while man's best friend supports the hunt; and neighbors from every part of town gathering in conversations, are the stories behind the paintings that shape Sabreee's art.
Her style can best be classified as Expressionism because of the bold brushstrokes, vibrant lash of colors, crossed-sectional patterns, sometimes featureless individuals, and bright-eyed little girls and boys. She is painting a legacy of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, friends, and the Gullah people's way of life.
Sabreee’s art is now collected all across the world, however she is based in Savannah. Stop by and meet Sabreee and enter her world of art at her working studio gallery in Savannah City Market, located at 309 St. Julian St., Studio No. 4. You can also purchase a variety of Sabreee’s art prints at Binyah Gullah Gifts and More, 556 Spanish Wells Rd, Hilton Head Island.