Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quilt Exhibit - MSU

Journey to Freedom Memory Quilt, Close-Up
Boitumelo Quilting Group
South Africa
Made for an event at the University of South Africa reflecting on the demise of apartheid. Each square represents one woman's memories.

We drove to Lansing two weekends ago to visit our college friends Erica and Mark. Had a great time catching up with them and found time to fit in a few quilting-related activities, including a visit to local shop Country Stitches. I'd never been to the shop in Lansing, but had driven to their store in Jackson a number of times when we were living in Ann Arbor. Found a few more Christmas-related projects (I need more of those like I need a hole in the head) and helped Erica with some quilting questions (I hope she'll share photos when she's made headway).

We were lucky enough to catch the free exhibit Quilts and Human Rights, which is at the Michigan State University Museum, just minutes from their house. According to the museum's website, the "exhibition [explores] the role that quiltmakers have played in raising awareness of human rights issues around the world and the power of textiles to communicate important ideas and information... [featuring] inspiring and often provocative quilts made to document and express transgressions of human rights, to educate others about human rights issues, and to pay tribute to leaders of human rights movements."

Southern Heritage, Southern Shame
Gwendolyn Magee
Jackson, MS
Response to the failure of a 2001 referendum within the state of Mississippi to adopt a flag without the Confederate battle emblem.

The quilts really were inspiring and touched on a wide range of human rights issues, including apartheid, U.S. bombings abroad, lynchings in the United States, incarceration rates, AIDS, etc. In all, a nice exhibition for a museum on a college campus (although personally, I was a bit concerned about the environmental conditions in the building - it was horrendously hot and humid inside the day that we were there; certainly not good for collections).

The other images I took are available in my Picasa album.
Quilts & Human Rights

The exhibit runs through the 24th, so you still have time to check it out, if you're in the area.

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