Minnie Evans is the embodiment of the visionary artist. She is an African American painter of Wilmington, N.C., who has created a world of mythical animals, religious symbols and natural beauty. The film explores the sources of Minnie Evans' art--Airlie Garden, with its magnificent azaleas and swans, where Minnie worked as a gate keeper for 27 years and where she did most of her paintings. Scenes of a service in her African-Methodist church draw the connections between her religious fervor and her art. She tells about her mystical visions and traces her slave ancestry to her great grandmother's grandmother who was brought from Trinidad and sold as a slave in North Carolina. We see Minnie with her 101 year old mother and at the Evans' family reunion of six generations. Minnie Evans was 91 years old when this film was made in 1983. She died December 16, 1987 at age 95.
Angel That Stands By Me is part of the "Visions of Paradise" series on contemporary folk artists directed and produced by Irving Saraf and Allie Light. The other four films in the series are: Possum Trot: The Art of Calvin Black, Hundred and Two Mature: The Art of Harry Lieberman, Grandma's Bottle Village: The Art of Tressa Prisbrey, and The Monument of Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder. You can find information about them at www.lightsaraffilms.com. They are video streaming on Folkstreams.net.