ONLINE: A Zoom invitation link will be sent one day before class begins.
The Fabric of Our Lives: Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend
The centerpiece of this class is the uplifting 56-minute PBS documentary film, Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, which follows the ‘discovery’ of a small community of African American quilters in 1998, and the sudden recognition of their artistry in the American art world. Seventy quilts by Gee's Bend residents traveled around the United States in 1998 in an exhibition that transformed the way many people think about art. Gee's Bend's "eye-poppingly gorgeous" quilts, wrote New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman, "turn out to be some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” Their unique quilt style was in large part determined by poverty, limited materials, and isolation. Their stories and quilts provide a moving and inspiring example of the deep roots and power of quilt making as both craft and art form, recording history and identity. Beyond the film being a joy to watch, it inspires discussion about influence, originality, technique, access, empowerment, and politics. A discussion will follow the film. Class members are also welcome to share a beloved quilt, their own expertise, or memories of quilters in their own history. Linda is an enthusiast of antiques and authentic handcrafting, not a quilt expert. Linda Gintowt holds an M.A. in Drama from the University of Toronto. She has a passion for history and the preservation of art and culture. Linda served as the Elderwise Program Coordinator for five years.