The Angel That Stands By Me (1983)

This film and others in the "Visions of Paradise" series are no longer streaming on Contact the American Visionary Art Museum ( in Baltimore for more information.

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 series is currently housed in the archive of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and DVD copies are available there.

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For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Allie Light, Irving Saraf, the distributor Light-Saraf Films, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: Allie Light, Irving Saraf
  • Produced by: Allie Light and Irving Saraf
  • Cinematographer: Philip Greene, Irving Saraf
  • Sound: Kirk Schuler, Sara Chin
  • Editor: Allie Light, Irving Saraf
  • Other Credits: Nina Howell Starr and Alan Alches
  • Funding: National Endowment for the Arts, L..J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundations
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • ©1983, Allie Light and Irving Saraf
  • 29 mins, Color
  • Categories:
    African American CultureAgingArts, Visionary and OutsiderReligionWomen