Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lift Every Voice and Sing: the Quilts of Gwendolyn Ann Magee

Please take a look at the beautiful and heart-wrenching quilts of Gwendolyn Ann Magee at Southern Spaces. They appear in an online catalogue for an exhibition of her quilts at the Gatewood Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (September 11 through November 18, 2014). The Mississippi Museum of Art also held an exhibition of her Slave Series (March 7 through May 18, 2014).

Lift Every Voice and Sing, 2004

The Highpoint Museum in Highpoint, North Carolina, is showing some of Mrs. Magee's quilts through February 21. She also has quilts in the permanent collection at The Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Five Years Hard Labor, 2001
Living in Jackson, Mississippi, Mrs. Magee first started making quilts in 1989 to remind her college-bound daughters of home, but in the process "she discovered her artistic voice in the fiber arts, swiftly mastering quilting and surface design techniques through which she powerfully expressed herself and engaged an audience," as reported in Southern Spaces.

Requiem, 2007

"I am fully aware," she blogged in 2009, "that the dissonance is palpable between this medium [quilting]  through which my art finds expression and the subject matter that it articulates. I know that the quilt form usually is associated with feelings of warmth, comfort, serenity and security and that my subject matter often is harsh, intense, somber and frequently brutal. However, viewers of the art frequently convey to me that they find the work to be compelling, evocative, meaningful and riveting."

Full of the Faith, 2004

The contrast itself adds to the portrayal of her art, not to mention her breathtaking skill as a quilter.
You can see more quilts and learn more of this artist at her website. Gwendolyn Magee died in 2011.

Nubian Queen

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