WILBERFORCE, Ohio, -- The Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama commemorates an historic milestone in
American history - the election of an African American man as president. The show will open Dec. 18, 2009 at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio, and will run through Dec. 18, 2010 before touring the country.
This extraordinary quilt show is curated by internationally known quilt artist, author and historian Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi for the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, a part of the Ohio Historical Society. She's brought together a diverse group of 95 fiber artists representing a variety races, cultures, generations and religions.
"To celebrate this enormous historical moment there is arguably no more appropriate adjective to describe Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama than righteous," Mazloomi said. "Visible through these quilts are prayers of healing, deliverance, hope and protection. Ranging from poignantly abstract to grippingly realistic, the messages are unmistakable. Although quilters created work inspired by their own unique experiences, there are three recurring themes in many of the works: hope for a brighter future; paying homage to Freedom Fighters in the fight for equality; and participation in the voting process. The quilts in Journey of Hope in America do not disappoint."
The exhibition will explore Obama's momentous 2008 election by bringing audiences a collection of powerful quilts from a wide range of styles, including art quilts, folk art and traditional quilts. The featured quilts illustrate a broad range of techniques and materials, including piecing, painting, applique, embroidery, dyeing, photography, beading and digital transfer, as well as inspirations.
Mazloomi explained, "Artists featured in Journey of Hope in America were moved by the historic campaign and by Obama's vision to mark the occasion with a commemorative quilt. Each quilt is a highly personal statement and a reflection of their shared experience as American citizens participating in the electoral process. Some quilts depict aspects of the Obama family's life stories and others connect their lives to the expansive sweep of American and African history and the Civil Rights Movement. The quilts also express the joy and hope that many feel over Americans having elected its first African American president."
Throughout The Journey of Hope in America, viewers will experience the narrative quilt as an avenue toward expanding understanding the impact of the electing of the first African American president. The companion catalogue encourages visitors to read more about the inspiration and meaning of the quilts and the role of quilting in American culture. In general, the exhibition will use a humanities approach to the study of culture by offering a rich experience in the arts and guiding audience members of all ages to reflect on, discuss and explore facets of that experience.
According to Edna Diggs, a curator at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, "This exhibition will appeal to people of all races, ages, genders, religions and political affiliations. Teachers will love the history lessons they can draw from each quilts. The National Afro-American Museum, which was created by one of the last bills signed by President Jimmy Carter, is the most appropriate venue for this historically significant exhibition to make its debut."
Media sponsor for the exhibition is WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio.
Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, $1.50 for children ages 6-10 and college students with I.D, and free to Ohio Historical Society members and children ages 5 and under. For more information about the exhibition or other National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center exhibits, call 937.376.4944/800.752.2603 or go online atwww.ohiohistory.org/journeyofhope or www.ohiohistory.org/afroam.
The Ohio Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that serves as the state's partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio's history, archaeology and natural history. For more information about the Ohio Historical Society and its programs, call 614.297.2300/800.686.6124 or visit www.ohiohistory.org.
SOURCE Ohio Historical Society