While attending a quilt retreat this weekend, I got the most fabulous news from Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, the curator of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience – My piece, The Lesson and The Equation is featured on the website of the Brussels, Belgium based organization Human Rights 70.
(If you are just joining us on my blog, you can read background on my piece and the exhibit in these series of posts: WCQN )
This organization’s mission, according to their website:
is to contribute to promote the knowledge and application from individual up to supranational level, of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and in doing so contribute to the better living of all beings in the world
This Brussels based organization also has offices in Madrid, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Bogota, and Mexico DF.
Here is a screen shot of the overview of the exhibit on the Human Rights 70 website:
To say I am excited and overwhelmed is an understatement (smile)!
For a high resolution image of the piece and to read the Artist Statement, see my page Art Quilt Stories.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. – Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Yesterday’s post with quilts from the Women of Color Quilting Network and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience (Curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi) were just to whet your appetite.
This post features more powerful quilts from the show. If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the two previous posts (Part I and Part II).
As I mentioned in the previous post, some of these quilts made me want to just step away from my sewing machine and find a new hobby.
I’ve seen many beautiful art quilts over the years – at shows and online – but I’ve never seen in person such a collection of powerful inspirational quilt all in one venue.
Sandra Scott – Bloodties
The photos do not do this quilt justice. This is definitely one of the quilts in the show that made me want to just give away my sew machine because now I see how art quilts “are done”. It is an absolute masterpiece and reading the Artist Statement and viewing this quilt in person can bring you to tears.
Speaking of quilts that can bring you to tears, this one had me quietly sobbing…
Dorothy Burge – Stop Killing Us
And now the piece that attempted to completely blow out my tear ducts – a piece inspired by news story of a young Syrian refugee child discovered washed up on the shore.
April Shipp – The Waters Returned Him: In Honor of Aylan Kurdi, Age 3
This quilt was a 3D quilt with a large set of hands coming forward holding a handmade doll representing the drowned Syrian refugee child. If seeing this quilt in person did not stir someone, then they were emotionally dead inside.
I got to chat with the amazing artist who passionately shared the story behind her inspiration. While listening to her I was desperately trying to keep it together (the tear ducts were starting to crumple) as she shared her beautiful compassion and intense feelings of heartbreak over hearing the news story (okay so I am getting weepy just trying to write this…).
Yes I kept having that “imposter syndrome” feeling being at this show with these significant pieces of work and these amazing artists (some of who are professional artists).
Here are a couple more quilts in the show to close out this post with a little less intense topics.
Carolyn Crump – Deeds, Not Words
Sharon Ray – Hamtramck, My Home
I hope you found these pieces as stirring and amazing as I did. In the next post I will share the rest of the sampling of pieces from the show.
If you are an artist/crafter have you ever attended an exhibit that made you want to just put away your art/craft supplies and find a new hobby?
This is what happened to me (no worries, it was only for a moment), when I saw the art quilts in the opening night of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio on Friday August 17, 2018.
This post is a continuation of the post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I and rather than ramble on about how many of these inspirational, provocative, powerful, creative, masterpieces made me want to shut down my sewing machine and walk away, I will just share a sample of images of the amazing quilts in the show.
I’ve included the Artist Statements that explain these amazing art quilts inspired by United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note I am going to share images of quilts from the show over several posts.
Earamicha Brown – A Woman’s Worth
Behrooz Assani – The Dawn of Human Rights
This quilt was not by a “Woman of Color” but by a Persian man, originally from Iran who wanted to show that although this part of the world has a reputation for the violation of human rights, Persia was in ancient times a forerunner on the concept of human rights.
Barbara McCraw – Every Man, Woman, and Child
Cynthia Lockhart – Created to Be Me
Beverly Smith – Plant a Seed
Glenda Richardson – Article 25
I will leave you with these 6 quilts to think about and next post I will continue with more quilts from the show.
According to the United Nations’ website (un.org):
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Dr. Mazloomi invited members of WCQN and friends to design a quilt inspired by one of the 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while know, I designed a 50″ x 50″ quilt inspired by Article 1 and Stories My Father Told Me (this is a new category on my blog which contains all related posts about the first quilt in a series of quilts I plan to make inspired by stories/lessons my father told me as a child), titled The Lesson and The Equation.
The Lesson and The Equation debuted at this show along with many mind-blowing and inspirational quilts.
Friday August 17, 2018 was the “soft opening” of the show and contained about 25 – 30 quilts, half the entire show. The entire show will be opening in the future at a larger venue and there will be a book that accompanies the show.
Here are some examples of books from other WCQN shows that can be found on amazon.com (just search “Carolyn Mazloomi”):
Around the exhibited quilts, there were placards with the Preamble and the corresponding Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, below are a couple examples:
I was very overwhelmed to be part of the this amazing show and here I am absolutely amazed that I got to be an “Exhibiting Artist”:
I was also overwhelmed and very honored that two of my long-time blogging buddies Sandy and Cindy of graybarndesigns.com came from Ohio and Western NY to meet me and see the show!
Next post I will share images from the amazing and inspirational pieces in the show!
“Our hopes for a more just, safe, and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family.” – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
I’ve been waiting to share this with you for quite a while. First, I needed to wait until the show’s curator gave me permission to share, and then I needed to be ready to share.
I am ready to share!
This post is an overdue follow up to my post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, originally posted in April 2016. You are welcome to read the original post but here is a synopsis of some of this post and a little bit of additional information:
While browsing the magazine section at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore in March 2016, I came across this magazine that I’ve never seen before: American Craft Magazine:
In the April 2016 issue of American Craftthey had an article about an exhibit, And Still We Rise by the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). I never heard of WCQN and immediately knew I wanted to join!
I reached out to Dr.Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of WCQN, shared my blog links with images of my work and asked if I could join and she said yes.
I then spent a lot of time looking through the WCQN website and was inspired to create a series based on the incredible stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr., told me while growing up – Stories My Father Told Me.
I shared this with Dr. Mazloomi and she invited me to participate in the next WCQN show. (I was terrified and wanted to say “No” but I made myself say “Yes”)
The Lesson & The Equation
The WCQN show that I was incredibly lucky enough to be invited to participate, was based on the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights. Participants had to select one of the thirty (30) Articles in this declaration and make a quilt inspired by the Article.
I selected Article 1 as it aligned with the lessons and values my father taught us as children:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
I’ve shared partial images from the quilt I created, which is the first quilt in my series Stories My Father Told Me. Here is a full image of the quilt, courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and below the image is my Artist Statement.
The Lesson & The Equation (2016) 50 x 50 inches
Applique, cotton, batiks, quilted
“Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights resonates the values that my father instilled in my siblings and me, as young children. My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence.
He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood. The foundation for a life lived embracing the values illustrated in Article I, begins at home, modeled and mentored by the adults in a child’s life. (THE LESSON)
In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal: Reason + Conscience = Spirit of Brotherhood
The two individual blackboards, “Dignity” and “Respect”, are the building blocks of the Free & Equal equation. I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.
My father also taught us another key lesson, which is best expressed in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.
This quilt will debut in the WCQN show, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, on August 17, 2018 at the FiltonCenterfor Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH.
Yes I will be attending the opening in August and there are no words I could type that would convey my excitement to be participating in this important exhibit. I am feeling very blessed to have been given this opportunity.
There will also be a book that accompanies the exhibit and Dr. Mazloomi’s books are incredible. Search “Carolyn Mazloomi” on Amazon to see a sample of books related to past exhibits. I own several of these books and to call them “inspirational” would be an understatement.
Below is an example of one of the books from a WCQN exhibit (which is currently touring):
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversationsis on exhibit at the Freedom Center until September 1, 2018 – here is thelink if you would like to check out more information on this exhibit.
I had the opportunity to finally meet Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in person this past September when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan (see post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017). I tried not to behave like too much of a “fan girl” but I was completely in awe of this amazing and accomplished woman.
What is Next?
I mentioned in my post Art& Fear, etc., I was struggling with two looming art quilt deadlines.
One of those quilts is for my local SAQA group annual show which I have started (will share in upcoming post); and the other one is a new art quilt for the next WCQN show I have been invited to participate in. I cannot share the details at the time, I need to wait until the curator is ready to officially announce the show – but it is another really exciting opportunity!
With the first quilt done in the Stories My Father Told Me series,I have mapped out the next 6 – 8 quilts in the series based on stories from my father’s life and lessons he taught me.
I just need to start making them (and if I win the lottery I plan to work full-time on completing this series)…
I think my whole experience demonstrates that you have to take risks in life and when an opportunity comes to your door – take it!
“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” — Jimmy Carter
Imagine if I never contacted Dr. Mazloomi? (Of course imagine if I never randomly opened that magazine at my local Barnes & Noble…thank you Universe!)