Warren Wilson College News

“Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints” exhibition continues at WWC, CCCD

Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints examines the work of four, well-known Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quiltmakers: Mary Lee Bendolph (b. 1935), Loretta Pettway (b. 1942), Louisiana P. Bendolph (b. 1960) and Loretta Bennett (b. 1960) and their recent exploration of the art of printmaking. The latter two quiltmakers were recently interviewed by Frank Stasio on WUNC’s “The State of Things.”

Since their first appearance at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2002, the quilts of Gee’s Bend have been the subject of national critical acclaim and popularity, not least demonstrated by their appearance on a set of American Treasures postage stamps. Made by multiple generations of African-American women from the isolated, rural community of Gee’s Bend (now Boykin), Alabama, these quilts have been compared to the likes of high modernist paintings as well as improvisational jazz. With their innovative compositions of bold patterns, colors and textures, these masterful quilts continue to occupy the imagination of the American public.

Warren Wilson College’s Elizabeth Holden Gallery partners with the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design to bring a selection of these national treasures to a Western North Carolina audience for the first time through a dual-venue exhibition, Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints.

The exhibition includes over 40 objects, ranging from well-known 1960s work-clothes quilts made out of denim and corduroy to more recently made “New Generation” quilts, which feature improvisations on traditional Gee’s Bend patterns. Additionally, a new set of prints produced in 2013-14 will make their national debut this September. Highlighting the printmaking process remains a focus of the exhibition, which also includes never before shown tools, plates, working proofs, and fabric maquettes. Visitors will learn about the rich history of the Gee’s Bend community, be able to trace the artists’ process of translating their ideas from fabric into print, and be inspired by the stunning work of four significant American artists.

Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints

September 5 – December 20, 2014
The Elizabeth Holden Gallery
Warren Wilson College
Gallery Hours: Mon – Fri, 10-4, Sat 1-5
Opening reception: September 19, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm
Free & Open to the Public

 

September 5, 2014 – January 10, 2015
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC  28801
Gallery Hours: Tue – Sat, 10-6
Opening reception: September 5, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm
Free & Open to the Public

 

Associated Programs 

From Quilts to Prints: A Roundtable Discussion | September 25, 2014, 6:30-8:00 pm

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

Join Gee’s Bend artist Louisiana P. Bendolph, collectors Bill and Matt Arnett, master printer Pam Paulson, and exhibition curators Julie Levin Caro and Marilyn Zapf to discuss the history behind making the first set of prints and the effect of making these prints on the artists’ practice.

 

Quiltmaking Workshop with Loretta Bennett  | Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:00 am­-3:00 pm

Warren Wilson College

Join Gee’s Bend artist, Loretta Bennett, in this mixed­ level, full­-day quiltmaking experience. The workshop will include a tour of the exhibition, Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints, at Warren Wilson College’s Holden Gallery, focusing on Bennett’s work. The day will include a discussion of design strategy, an explanation of the quiltmaking process, and hands­-on advice, guidance, and reflections on making in the Gee’s Bend quiltmaking tradition. There are sure to be many stories shared while quilting beside one of America’s greatest living makers. Depending on your skill level, you will come away with a handful of quilt blocks or a full pattern, and many great memories!  Cost ($80) materials not included.  Maximum participants (20).

 

Homecoming Weekend Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints Gallery Tour | October 10, 2014, 9:30 am-1:30 pm

Warren Wilson College and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints, a joint exhibition with Warren Wilson College and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design features recent quilts and prints made by four accomplished artists from the community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. We will meet at the Elizabeth Holden Gallery, which is located on campus and engage with Julie Caro, co-curator and faculty member and student docents. Together we will travel to The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in downtown Asheville to view the rest of the exhibition. This is the first time the Gee’s Bend quilts and prints will be shown in our region. The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Windgate Charitable Foundation. The morning will conclude with a dutch-treat lunch at Tod’s Tasties, a Montford restaurant owned by Jacob ’98 and Alicia Sessoms ’00.   Cost ($5) includes transportation.  Maximum participants (13).

 

Gee’s Bend/LEAF | October 13-19, 2014

Warren Wilson College will be hosting four quiltmakers from Gee’s Bend on our campus for the week ofOctober 13-17, while the women participate in a LEAF Schools & Streets artist residency in one of the Asheville elementary schools.  The women and their students will perform a concert of spirituals and Gospel songs onSunday, Oct. 19th at the LEAF Festival.  WWC will also have a quiltmaking tent at the Festival staffed by our fiber arts crew and students in Julie Caro’s Gee’s Bend course—this is a LEAF not to be missed!

 

Quiltmaking Workshop with Louisiana P. Bendolph | Sunday, November 16, 2014, 10:00 am­-4:00 pm

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

Join Gee’s Bend artist, Louisiana P. Bendolph, in this mixed­ level, full­-day quiltmaking experience. The workshop will include a tour of the exhibition, Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints, at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, focusing on Bendolph’s work. The day will include a discussion of design strategy, an explanation of the quiltmaking process, and hands­-on advice, guidance, and reflections on making in the Gee’s Bend quiltmaking tradition. There are sure to be many stories shared while quilting beside one of America’s greatest living makers. Depending on your skill level, you will come away with a handful of quilt blocks or a full pattern, and many great memories!  Cost ($80) materials not included.  Maximum participants (20).

 

Gee’s Bend in Translation: A Symposium | November 14-15, 2014

Warren Wilson College and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

Scholars and artists will use the Gee’s Bend quilts and prints as a starting point from which to discuss the broader theme of translation in fine art.  Keynote speaker: Bernard Herman, George B. Tindall Professor of American Studies, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Cost ($10 keynote speech, $25 early registration, $40 late registration) see website for details.  Free for WWC students.

 

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