Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Thread Through History By Way Of Quilts

by Kim (writer), Los Angeles, November 24, 2008


Black Quilt Makers of Southern California share much more than meet the eye

The Black Quilters of Southern California showcased the quilts of many of its artists on November 23rd at Cal Poly Pomona at the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery. Quilt making is a creative art form which has captured the hearts of many individuals from diverse backgrounds.

This exhibit is hosted by Donald Bernard.

Over the past 20 years or so it has emerged in Southern California. The Black Quilt Makers is a group of artists presenting quilts with themes ranging from African traditions to American culture, family unity to slavery's extrication, an abject journey to the perilous yet courageous Underground Railroad expedition, and vibrant; outspoken messages to veiled treasures leading to liberties never before known.

Most of the artists were on hand to discuss their individual quilt. A number of speakers shared the significance of quilts in society from the 1800's until the present.

History on how patterns sown in quilts gave vital codes for slaves escaping to freedom from the south to Canada during the "underground railroad" period. Some quilts gave chronicles on varied connections to modern day events.

For example:

"The Monkey Wrench Pattern - symbolized preparing the tools you will need for the long journey, including the mental and spiritual tools. As a Ship’s Wheel, the pilot is prepared to begin the transport"

The quilts presented at the gallery exhibit were exquisite examples of the time, patience, innovation, skill, versatility, and dedication that is required for artwork.

One woman made the comparison of "Quilting to Modern Art" and another shared of the "Freedom of Control" one experiences in quilting.

It is "growing and changing constantly as we are as people and as a nation".

Works were compared with the great painting by Henry O. Tanner, "Sand Dunes at Sunset, Atlantic City" An ingenious work of art that resides in the White House. It is the first work of art created by an African American to reside in the White House.

Besides the work of the quilters at the Black Quilters of Southern California being historically significant; the pieces are a tribute to many generations of people from all walks of life. The quilts individually serves as teaching tools, bridge builders between dissimilar populations and people from every spectrum of existence.

The works of art provide beauty to the community, city, state, country and the world.

Above all else the exhibit is a fun, engaging, and learning experience!


There are a few specific dates left to experience the wonder, beauty, and joy.

The Black Quilters of Southern California Exhibit will be held through December 2oth.

For specific information on time please

3801 West Temple. Pomona CA. 91768

(909) 869-4302.

About the Writer

Kim is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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