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