Special Events, WCQN, What's on the Design Wall

Secret Quilt Revealed, Part II: Yours for Race and Country

This post is a follow up to my 12/9/18 post: Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I.

In this post I announced the exhibit for which I was working on a secret quilt (the curator ask us not to post photos of our quilts until the show was announced) from April to August 2018.

“Working” is a term I am using loosely as I was procrastinating on completing the quilt during that time. I was given over one+ year (maybe 1.5 years) to complete the quilt from the invitation to be part of the Women of Color Quilting Network show, but alas, I was burning the midnight oil to get it done in time for the October deadline!

The show is called “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”. It opens on March 16, 2019 and the exhibit will run from  through August 17, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum in historic Wilberforce, Ohio.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

Please check out the “Part I” post of this series for more details on Colonel Charles Young.

So now it’s time to reveal the quilt I made for the show.

Honoring His Service at Sequoia National Park

As I discussed in the previous post, the show’s curator provided us with options of what part of Colonel Young’s life could inspire out quilt. I selected his time as Superintendent of Sequoia National Park.

I read a book about his life and accomplishments (Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young by Brian G. Shellum) and studied images I found online of Sequoia National Park to inspire my piece.

After sketching out numerous ideas (in my journal, see post Creative Inspiration: Peek Inside My Journals) I knew that I wanted to make Colonel Young part of the beauty of Sequoia National Park since his role, as the first African American Superintendent of a National Park, was to preserve its beauty.

Also I decided I wanted to use only recycled materials to create the piece which would also honor his conservation efforts. I decided to only use cotton Batik fabric scraps.

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Here is the forest as it developed on the large design wall in my hallway (I added this post of my series What’s on the Design Wall, as it was secretly on my design wall!):

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I wanted to incorporate Colonel Young and his accomplishments into the trees. So first I worked on a tree with his image as part of the bark:

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I also wanted to honor the National Park Service, so I created a fabric version of a U.S. Parks Service sign and edited the image to be the name of the quilt – Giant Among the Sequoia.

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I had so much fun making this “monument marker”!

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And here is the full quilt which measures 40″ x 40″:

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Here is the Artist Statement:

Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)

Tierney Davis Hogan

40” x 40”

Recycled cotton batik fabric scraps, batik cotton fabric, recycled cotton and polyester batting, ink

Inspired by Brian G. Shellum’s biography, Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young (Bison Books, 2010), this piece honors the legacy of Colonel Charles Young, the first African-American Superintendent of a national park.

Floating among the trees in a mythical scene inspired by an image of a section of Sequoia National Park and by Brain G. Shellum’s book, are phrases describing the work that this groundbreaking leader accomplished during his time as Superintendent of General Grant (now Kings Canyon) and Sequoia National Parks:

Overseeing Operations, Park Superintendent, Clearing Trails, Providing Leadership, Stopping Livestock Grazers, Park Patrolling, Protecting Against Poachers, Road Building, Respected by the Community; and Inspiring Youth

In the center of the piece, a giant Sequoia tree with Colonel Charles Young’s image surveys and protects the park. Adding a bit of whimsy to the piece, an image of a real U.S. Forest Service sign in Sequoia National Forest was creatively edited.

This piece also honors the precious natural environment of our national parks and is made primarily from recycled materials (batik fabric scraps) that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

I’ve add this piece to my Nature Stories Series of my Art Quilt Stories.


Postscript

By the way, if you’ve been following my blog for a while and remember this post – Creative Inspiration: Tree Bark – now you know why I was studying tree bark this past summer!

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:

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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.

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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