St. Helena's Island
created by Mark, Carol, Linda, Allan, Milton, Peter, Beverly and our colleagues.
Sponsored by: Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Cleveland State University
Funded by: The Cleveland Foundation; Dominion East Ohio Gas
Created: July 2001
Last Update: August 2001
Highlights of our Explorations
Phillip Simmons is a humble, vibrant, artistic genius. At the age of eight, he walked into the blacksmith's shop of an ex-slave. By the time he was eighty, he had forged elegant and uniquely designed gates that decorate Charleston churches, businesses, and homes of every economic status. Images of nature, symbols of love and religion are just a few that decorate the town. Phillip Simmon's star and fish gates sparked a national interest for which he received a heritage fellowship award in 1982. His work is part of the Smithsonian Institution's Collection. He is a living legend in the African American community and a national treasure.