EFFINGHAM, S.C. — Fourth-grader Angelica C. Gary and her mother, Dr. Wanda Fernandopulle, will be making a trip to Florence once the threat of coronavirus has ended.

They plan to see the recently dedicated statue of William H. Johnson and to view his artwork on display at the Florence County Museum.

Johnson, an African American artist born and raised in Florence, is known for his portraits and landscapes that depict the life of African Americans during the 1930s and 1940s. His work is on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as in New York City.

“We can’t wait,” Fernandopulle said Wednesday.

She said they were also planning trips to New York to see Johnson’s work on display there.

The moment she learned about Johnson’s work, Angelica knew what path she wanted her life to take.

Fernandopulle told the Morning News that Angelica now wanted to follow in Johnson’s footsteps by going to New York and Europe to learn from the masters at one of the world’s foremost fine arts institutions of higher learning.

“I learned about him [Johnson] in school,” Angelica said. “I learned about his art and I really, really liked it.”

She said she loved how Johnson used a lot of bright colors, that his works can be very abstract looking, and that he used a lot of different shapes in his works.

“It’s very inspiring and it’s very cool that he lived right here in Florence,” Angelica said.

She was inspired by Johnson but has been drawing and doing other types of art since she was “a little baby.”

She said her favorite things to draw were animals, particularly dogs and cats, flowers, and people.

She attends the private K-12 International Academy, an online school. Angelica lives with her mother in the Effingham area of Florence County.

Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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