Last Updated on February 28, 2008 by Paulette Brown-Hinds
In the nearly four centuries since the 1619 arrival of three African women in Jamestown, Va., the history of African-American women has often been neglected. Changing that is the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. Its latest exhibition Quilting African American Women’s History: Our Challenges, Creativity, and Champions will open March 8.
This unique and exciting quilt show is curated by internationally known quilt artist, author and historian Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi solely for the National Afro-American Museum, a part of the Ohio Historical Society, and commemorates the 2008 National Women’s History Month (March) theme Women’s Art: Women’s Vision. The show will run through Nov. 8 and then tour the country.
“In Quilting African American Women’s History: Our Challenges, Creativity, and Champions, the vitality of quilt making and the resilient, creative spirit of Black women come alive,” said Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi. “This exhibition is a validating expression of cultural genius.”
The exhibition – the largest of its kind – showcases more than 100 contemporary quilts created by 53 women and three men. Some of America’s best known African-American quilters like Tina Williams Brewer, Adriene Cruz, Michael Cummings, Peggie Hartwell, Viola Burley Leak and Jim Smoote are featured.
Each quilt is accompanied by an artist’s statement that provides a glimpse into the artist’s background and the motivation behind the piece. The diversity of genre and technique represented in the works reflects the diversity of African Americans today. Yet, collectively, these quilts combine to tell the story of African-American women, their profound contributions to American society, and their crucial role in the survival of their people from slavery to the present.
Sponsors for the exhibit are Ohio Arts Council, AK Steel Foundation and AEP Ohio. Media sponsor is WHIO-TV 7 in Dayton.
Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, $1.50 for children ages 6-10 and college students with I.D. and free to Ohio Historical Society members and children ages 5 and under.
A full-color catalogue and poster will accompany the exhibition. For more information about the exhibition and other National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center events, call 937.376.4944/800.752.2603.
The Ohio Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history. For more information about the Ohio Historical Society and its programs, call 614.297.2300/800.686.6124 or visit www.ohiohistory.org.