Thursday, March 11, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

Hello blog readers!

It has been nearly a month since I have posted anything here for which I apologize. You can't exactly have a weekly series when you aren't posting weekly. I will endeavor to make up for my lack of posts in the coming weeks. There are several events and much quilt news as of late that I thought I would share.

The My American Series quilts have returned to Maryland. The Community Threads exhibition in Hartford, CT ended last month and was a resounding success with people interested in holding the exhibition again in the next few years. Dr. Gaither went to Hartford for the closing of the exhibition where she gave two artist talks on her work at the Capital Community College which were well received.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Gaither presented a quilting workshop for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History. This workshop was held in conjunction with the museum's exhibition on the Skurlock Studio, which was a photography studio run by a family of photographers in Washington, DC who chronicled African American life and culture in DC. The program was a great success with several quilters in attendance who made quilt squares as well as showed off some of their work. Their work was truly amazing.

As I mentioned in posts last month, Dr. Gaither has a quilt on display at the Barnes and Noble in Annapolis. Due to the snow storms and some trouble getting the quilt hung, the exhibition of her work was extended and her family tree quilt will remain on display through the month of March. She will be presenting a talk on her work at the store on Sunday, 21 March 2010 at 2 p.m. If you are in the area, please come out and join us.

As a special treat for the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County commemoration of Maryland Day, the Black Watermen of the Chesapeake quilt will be making an appearance at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. The most recent addition to the My American Series will be making its Maryland debut on Saturday, 20 March. The quilt will only be on display for one day, so be sure to come in and see it. The largest of the My American Series quilts, it promises to take up quite a bit of space. I will be interested to see exactly how high we have to move the quilt to get the entire thing to fit. Fortunately we have an entire former exterior wall of a building to work with. (The Banneker-Douglass Museum is comprised of two buildings, a former church and a glass and brick addition. When constructing the addition in 2005, the museum preserved the exterior wall and now use it as an interior.)

J2WH is now on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore and will remain there until 6 June 2010. It is on exhibit thanks to the National Art Education Association's 2010 Annual Conference to be held in Baltimore in April. Dr. Gaither will conduct a workshop on her methods during the conference for teachers in attendance.

Finally, a new member of the My American Series family is in progress! Dr. Gaither was commissioned last year to create a quilt for the National Black Theatre Festival held every other year in North Carolina. I have seen the initial stages of the quilt and can say it will do its fellow My American Series quilts proud. This quilt is being prepped to have the greatest amount of community contribution yet. Working with organizers of the festival, Dr. Gaither hopes to incorporate images of people past and present who have worked with the festival as well as have them add something personally to the quilt. The border of the quilt appears to be almost twice as large as any of the others to leave room for many of the festival's attendees to add their own stitches. It should be an amazing process to watch. I will try to post some pictures throughout the process. I will add that it might just overtake the Black Watermen of the Chesapeake quilt to claim the title of largest quilt in the series! It is currently larger, but we will have to see how much it shrinks as it is quilted.

Well, that is enough updates for the moment. I will restart the My American Series postings this weekend. No more month-long breaks between postings, I promise!

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