Beginning in 1916 Minnie Evans was employed as a domestic at the home of her husband's employer, Pembroke Jones, a wealthy industrialist. Evans began drawing on Good Friday, 1935. She said "I had a dream, its voice spoke to me: ‘Why don't you draw or die?' ‘Is that it?,' I said, ‘My, My.'" That morning she completed a pair of small pen-and-ink drawings on paper; these works, dominated by a pattern of concentric circles and semi-circles upon a background of lines, became greatly significant to her in her later life. Most of her earliest pieces were executed in wax crayons; she later turned to colored pencil and, in the early 1940s, oils. Her first "exhibitions" were in 1948, at Airlie Gardens, which had been established by Pembroke Jones and his wife Sara as a series of formal gardens and wildlife refuge open to the public. Minnie Evans was the gatekeeper, collecting admissions and selling her artwork on the side. She had her first formal exhibition of drawings and oils in 1961 at a gallery in Wilmington. In 1962 she began a friendship with Nina Howell Starr, who would publicize her work for the next 25 years. Starr arranged for her first New York exhibit in 1966 and curated a major Evans exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. Evans died in 1987, leaving more than 400 artworks to the St. Johns Museum of Art (now the Cameron Museum of Art) in Wilmington.
Of her drawings, Evans once said that "this art that I have put out has come from the nations I suppose might have been destroyed before the flood. . . . No one knows anything about them, but God has given it to me to bring [them] back into the world."