EXHIBIT I February 20-May 12, 2018
Hollis Chatelain – Stories of West Africa
Presentation: April 7, 2018
Through this exhibition I express my feelings and impressions of West African people in their everyday lives. Each piece tells a story showing the strength of family and community. My choice of textiles as a medium suggests an intimacy and softness, while expressing the sparkle and joy of the people. My drawings are based on photographs I took while living in Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Benin. These colored pencil illustrations were printed on fabric using the latest digital technology, and then quilted with hundreds of colored threads.
The juxtaposition of the decorative patterned background combined with the photo-realistic drawing of the people creates a feeling of warmth and jubilation. The quilts sing “Africa” because fabrics play such an important role in the people’s lives.
My goal for this exhibition is to encourage intercultural understanding and educate viewers about this region of Africa. --Hollis Chatelain
African American Quilters: Stitching Our Stories in New & Traditional Expressions
Wilma Gerald, Curator
Galleries I, II and III
The participation of Africans in the textile arts is older than their presence in this country. Africans brought with them knowledge of piecing, appliqué, embroidery and weaving. However, at that time, it was not considered art. Enslaved African women were responsible for sewing, mending, and other textile work as part of their household chores. Out of necessity, quilts were made for everyday use: to sleep on or for cover in the winter months. Some of these quilts were made to chronicle the history of their lives, their struggles and triumphs, and as vehicles of artistic expression.
Now, as then, quilts produced by quilters of African descent are as diverse and unique as the artists themselves. Often drawing on distinctive aspects of their history and experience in the creation of their art, these artists continue to tell their stories as did their fore-bearers. The quilts in this exhibit range from works with a strong African influence to traditional quilting and include stunning art quilts, traditional piecing and dramatic story quilts. These quilts have voices and they are calling out to you. Come, join in the conversation as the colors and shapes tell of the celebrations and memories they were created to record.
Paula Golden, Curator
Galleries A and B
Traditionally, textiles have been used to convey important cultural information and have often played a central role in festivities and ceremonies. Throughout the African continent, men, women and children wove cloth - often from an early age. Cloth was considered to be of great value and so was also used as a form of currency. This exhibit explores the textiles of Africa and represents the beautiful diversity of design, culture and history present in the woven, dyed and printed fabrics.
Treasures From the Vault: Itty Bitty Pieces of Paper
Gloria Comstock, Curator
Gallery VI and Hallway
On occasion, VQM accessions quilts are accompanied by pieces of paper with notes about who made the quilt. These quilts will be on display with their stories.
Wrapped in History - The Search for Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: The Jenny and David Powers Collection
Pam Pampe, Curator
Galleries IV and V
Jenny and Dave Powers descend from Valley families that are passionate about preserving the past. Their love for quilts made in the Valley is represented in the selections made for this exhibit. Family names, county locations and provenance on the pieces make this collection unique.