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Life Arts    H2'ed 2/23/17

Quilt Activism at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

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Quilters have had a history of activism, stitching their positions on everything from abolition to women's suffrage into their quilts. And among the art quilts and prizewinners at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, contemporary quiltmakers addressed Black Lives Matter, the Occupy movement, Standing Rock, and more.

The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival opens Thursday, Feb 23, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA, and features over 500 quilts and works of textile art. It is a 4-day event which continues through Sunday, February 26. Hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm.

Vox Populi, Carolyn Miller, quilted by Dotty Levine. 60' x 60.'
Vox Populi, Carolyn Miller, quilted by Dotty Levine. 60' x 60.'
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Vox Populi. (detail)  Carolyn Miller, quilted by Dotty Levine.
Vox Populi. (detail) Carolyn Miller, quilted by Dotty Levine.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First zunitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First zunitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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The quilter notes, "The images are framed by a pattern, and variations, called Courthouse Steps, to remind us of the importance of voting rights to make a change."

The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Quote by Martin Luther King. The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
Quote by Martin Luther King. The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Quote by Maya Angelou. The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
Quote by Maya Angelou. The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Quote by Maya Angelou. (detail)  The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
Quote by Maya Angelou. (detail) The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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(Trayvon Martin) The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Trayvon Martin) The Power of Three: A Quilt Challenge by the 'QUUilters of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Standing Strong. 84' x 66'. Janet Bear McTavish and Karen McTavish. It is composed of 12,384, 1/2' x 3/4' photos (many taken at Standing Rock) printed on fabric. The quilt was a catalyst for fundraising for Standing Rock.
Standing Strong. 84' x 66'. Janet Bear McTavish and Karen McTavish. It is composed of 12,384, 1/2' x 3/4' photos (many taken at Standing Rock) printed on fabric. The quilt was a catalyst for fundraising for Standing Rock.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Last Dance. 75' x 60'. Janet Bear McTavish The quiltmakers message is to love the world so that the last dance pictured here never happens.
Last Dance. 75' x 60'. Janet Bear McTavish The quiltmakers message is to love the world so that the last dance pictured here never happens.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Last Dance. (detail) Janet Bear McTavish
Last Dance. (detail) Janet Bear McTavish
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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TRANS+freeMation. Nancy Oldham.
TRANS+freeMation. Nancy Oldham.
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Flowers of Freedom by Carol Murdock.
Flowers of Freedom by Carol Murdock.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Quiltmaker Carol Murdock writes: In a 1992 speech, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall stated that: "Democracy cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage." On that day he observed that our government and our legal system can open doors and knock down walls, but that the task of building bridges falls to us as Americans. In these times of political change, frustration, and skepticism, we must be even more vigilant. We must nourish tolerance. We need to grow into acceptance. And we need to sprinkle all this with unconditional love. That way we can enjoy our flowers of Freedom as they fill our garden with a happy life for all!"

Flowers of Freedom (detail)  by Carol Murdock.
Flowers of Freedom (detail) by Carol Murdock.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Flowers of Freedom (detail)  by Carol Murdock.
Flowers of Freedom (detail) by Carol Murdock.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. The blue jeans used in the art quilt were actually set on fire before stitching them into the quilt.
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. The blue jeans used in the art quilt were actually set on fire before stitching them into the quilt.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Wall of Peace. Cathy Wiggins. Embroidered pieced cowhide.
Wall of Peace. Cathy Wiggins. Embroidered pieced cowhide.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Wall of Peace. (detail) Cathy Wiggins. Embroidered pieced cowhide.
Wall of Peace. (detail) Cathy Wiggins. Embroidered pieced cowhide.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival is open through Sunday.

 

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

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