At Bruce Museum, Story Quilting Exhibit Contributes to Racial Reconciliation in America.

Lucy Terry Prince: The Griot's Voice (2012) Peggie Hartwell Summerville, South Carolina 47.5  48 in. Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread, nylon thread Techniques: Hand appliqué, machine appliqué, machine embroidery, machine quilting 1746: Lucy Terry, an enslaved person, becomes the earliest known African American poet when she writes about the last Native American attack on her village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Abijah Prince, a freed slave, bought Lucy’s freedom and married her. They would become parents of six children, and Mrs. Prince would become the family spokesperson who protected their personal and family rights. Her poem, “Bar's Fight,” will not be published until 1855.

Lucy Terry Prince: The Griot’s Voice (2012) Peggie Hartwell Summerville, South Carolina 47.5 x 48 in. Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread, nylon thread Techniques: Hand appliqué, machine appliqué, machine embroidery, machine quilting 1746: Lucy Terry, an enslaved person, becomes the earliest known African American poet when she writes about the last Native American attack on her village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Abijah Prince, a freed slave, bought Lucy’s freedom and married her. They would become parents of six children, and Mrs. Prince would become the family spokesperson who protected their personal and family rights. Her poem, “Bar’s Fight,” will not be published until 1855.

 

Featuring 40 quilts from artists of the Women of Color Quilters Network, the Bruce Museum presents  “And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations” from January 16 through April 24, 2016.

An Extraordinary Woman for No Ordinary Day (2012) Sauda A. Zahra. Durham, North Carolina. 50.5  49.5 in. Materials: Commercial cotton, batik, velveteen, photo transfer Techniques: Photo transferral, machine piecing, hand piecing, machine quilting, hand quilting 1892: African American journalist Ida B. Wells begins a crusade to investigate and document lynchings of African Americans after three of her friends are lynched in Tennessee.

An Extraordinary Woman for No Ordinary Day (2012) Sauda A. Zahra. Durham, North Carolina. 50.5  49.5 in. Materials: Commercial cotton, batik, velveteen, photo transfer Techniques: Photo transferral, machine piecing, hand piecing, machine quilting, hand quilting 1892: African American journalist Ida B. Wells begins a crusade to investigate and document lynchings of African Americans after three of her friends are lynched in Tennessee.

Using the powerful medium of story quilts, the exhibition narrates nearly four centuries of African-American history, from the first slave ships to the first African American president and beyond.

This exhibition, now on a national tour, is curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi and presented by the Women of Color Quilters Network in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

“The exhibition gives voice to personal, authentic, and unique histories of African-American men and women– from relating painful stories of enslaved ancestors, to highlighting contemporary political leaders and drawing attention to social challenges our nation continues to face today,” explains guest curator Mazloomi, who is an accomplished artist, writer, former aerospace engineer and founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network.

The beautifully hand-crafted quilts narrate stories of the African-American experiencethat include Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to have her work published (in 1773); the Harlem Renaissance; baseball legend Jackie Robinson; Academy Award-winning actor Hattie McDaniel; Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and the tragedy of Trayvon Martin.

Story quilting is an art form that goes beyond the simple quilting patterns familiar to many people. It expands on traditional textile-arts techniques to record, in fabric, events of personal or historical significance. Through the accessibility of their colors, patterns and symbols, the quilts of “And Still We Rise” relate narratives that enable conversations about sensitive topics from our national history, furthering the discussion of racial reconciliation in America.

The exhibition is generously underwritten by First Republic, a Committee of Honor, and the Charles M. and Deborah G Royce Exhibition Fund, with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.


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