Historian, Curator, Author, Lecturer, Artist, Mentor, Founder, and Facilitator — the remarkable and tireless Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi has left her mark on many lives.Trained as an aerospace engineer, Mazloomi turned her sites and tireless efforts in the 1980s to bring the many unrecognized contributions of African American quilt artists to the attention of the American people as well as international art communities.
From the founding of the African-American Quilt Guild of Los Angles in 1981 to the 1985 founding of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi has been at the forefront of educating the public about the diversity of interpretation, styles and techniques among African American quilters as well as educating a younger generation of African Americans about their own history through the quilts the WCQN members create.Her pictorial narrative quilts make plain her personal themes: family life, women’s rights, political freedom, and musical legacy.Mazloomi’s quilts have been included in over 74 exhibits and she herself has curated 21 extensive exhibits of quilts made by members of the Women of Color Quilters Network, many of them traveling exhibits.“I look at the quilt makers as culture bearers because there’s a long history of quilt making in this country and I want to see it carried forth to the next generation,” Mazloomi explains.“And because most of the stories within the African-American quilt community are narratives and tell the story of our culture, what would be more important than people seeing these quilts and noting history?“It’s important because we as a people have our footprint noted on this canvas called American history, so people have to know the role that we played and that we were here and that we contributed positively to history in this country, so it’s important for that aspect.”
Once a quarter I make an art quilt for an online group, The Endeavourers. This time the theme was “Opposites Attract.” I had a very hard time coming up with anything, but finally I remembered the fun of having “Opposite Day” when my kids were little — eating dinner for breakfast (starting with dessert), wearing […]
Back on November 16, 2019, Laura Kate had an inspirational moment visiting the Gateway Arch in St. Louis:
Inspiration, Gestation, Implementation
INSPIRATION: The idea for creating a fiber object based on the Gateway Arch has been rattling around in my brain for some time. It really started way back in 2012, after my husband and I visited the Gateway to the West museum in St. Louis. At that time, he took a series of photographs showing every possible angle of the Arch at ground level. They are rather remarkable, taken as a group………
Yesterday, February 3, 2019, she posted her finished quilt.
Gateway Arch: Nine Views
A culmination of six months spent thinking about and working on it, here is the Gateway Arch quilt. I finishing sewing on the binding while watching the Super Bowl (Yay KC Chiefs!) I feel an odd combination of elation, satisfaction and relief. The finished object is largely what I had envisioned………
Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people.
She avoids representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.
“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website.
“I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture.”
“This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”
Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.
Her quilts are full of motion, heritage, tradition, and beauty. They represent a merging of artistic excellence and quilting magic.