WCQN

Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember that Spring to Summer 2018 I was working on a secret quilt for an unannounced exhibit.

Well the curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, has recently announced the show and now I can share my secret quilt with you; and I will share the story behind it in a series of posts.


Yours for Race and Country

The Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) exhibit, curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, is called Yours For Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young. The exhibit will run from March 16, 2019 through August 17, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum in historic Wilberforce, Ohio.

Colonel Charles Young was the first African-American to reach the rank of Colonel is the United States Army (the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death). He was also the first African-American Superintendent of a U.S. National Park – Sequoia National Park.

Here is a wonderful overview of some of his accomplishment I found on The Trust for Public Land website (tpl.org):

charles young.jpgTo read more about Colonel Charles Young and his historic accomplishments, check out the Arlington National Cemetery website – Charles Young, Colonel, United States Army.


The Art Quilt Assignment

I was extremely honored and excited to be invited to participate in this art quilt exhibit.

For the exhibit, Dr. Mazloomi gave us options to select from of pivotal moments and accomplishments in Colonel Young’s life as inspiration for a 40″ x 40″ quilt.

I selected his time as Superintendent of Sequoia National Park.

Then it was history time! I wanted to learn more about Colonel Young’s life than was available online, so I ordered this book and read it – Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young by Brian G. Shellum:

41SQcR+IffL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
image credit: amazon.com

After reading the book and studying images I found online of Sequoia National Park, I was ready to get to work on my quilt.

In the next post in the series, I will share the evolution of the quilt and my challenges to create something I felt honored the legacy of Colonel Young (oh the pressure!).


Postscript

Here are more details on the exhibit, as posted on facebook by the show’s curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi:

My latest curated exhibition opens March 16, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in historic Wilberforce, Ohio. The exhibition, Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young, is a visual history of the life of Charles Young. Young’s life is triumph over tragedy. Charles Young was born in 1864 to former slaves, but went on to attend and graduate West Point. He mastered several languages, played and composed music for piano, violin and guitar, wrote poetry, was a master cartographer, military strategist, the first African American Colonel in the U.S. Army and first superintendent of Sequoia National Park. Young’s home in Wilberforce was designated by President Barack Obama as a National Monument of the United States Parks Service. The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument is a testament to Young’s perseverance.

The international exhibition visually explores, using the medium of quilts, the life of Col. Charles Young from his birth, life at West Point, military career, experiences in Foreign Service and his time as a Superintendent for the National Park Service.The opening reception is March 16th from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Copies of the catalogue will be made available to the public at that time.

ColChasYoung1919-2
National Park Service website, courtesy of Library of Congress

In case you are wondering, I would like to attend the opening of the exhibit, I am just looking into if I can make it work with traveling in Winter and my job commitments. There is also going to be a private tour for the artists in the show of Colonel Young’s home in Wilberforce, OH. That would be a wonderful added bonus to getting to attend.

I will know more in 2019.


Feature photo credit – Change.org

40 thoughts on “Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I”

  1. Oh my! What an honour! However, I can understand why you have been selected, as your quilts are sensational. This would have been one daunting task, exciting, but one of those “take a deep breath and know that you can do it” tasks. Colonel Young must have been a very strong and courageous man. The exhibition will be a tribute to his life.
    And yes, you must make it to the exhibition opening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Anne, I appreciate that! Yes it was a very daunting task as I’ve never made a historical themed art quilt before. From what I read he was an amazing and brave man – the obstacles he faces were unbelievably daunting!

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  2. Times like this I wish I still lived in the midwest! When I did, I did get to one of Dr Mazloomi’s exhibits (quilts about Obama) at Wilberforce. I’m excited for your having been invited to submit–that’s a notch above juried in! I do hope you can arrange to get to the opening!

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  3. OK, so I know that in some ways things were better for African Americans during a relatively brief period between emancipation and the institution of Jim Crow laws, but…I also know that “colored troops” were still segregated during WW II. (My father, who was white, was in command of a “colored regiment” and I’ll bet most officers were white.) So I am amazed that Charles Young was able to attend West Point. Thanks for the education. I’ll be interested to learn more about your quilt, too. Congratulations!

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  4. Tierney, this is such an honor and I am thrilled you might visit Ohio again! I will definitely be attending the exhibit as I am fascinated by Colonel Young and his story and I can’t wait to see how Colonel Young is honored through the medium of quilts. I’ll add this book to my reading list so that I have a “preview” of the exhibit.

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    1. Thanks for your comments and Terry is reading the book too as he is the military history buff in the house. It was kind of a dry read for me since I do not read a lot of history books (I need like suspense and science fiction to keep me engaged – ha!) but it is an amazing story.

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