The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

In honor of Black History Month, Art Gallery 21, in partnership with the City of Wilton Manors and Broward Cultural Division, presented “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend: The Fabric of Their Lives” from February 3 through March 10, 2018. This distinctive exhibit featured 15 original quilts from the collection of Janet Dolland, advocate of the celebrated Gee’s Bend Quilter’s Collective.

Formed in the isolated African American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, in the early 20th century, this extraordinary group of women created the quilts to stay warm in winter using whatever fabrics and textiles were available to them. Ranging in age from 19 to 90, they have been recognized by the United States Postal Service, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the National Museum in Washington, DC, because their quilts symbolize the individuality of the quilters and their multi-generational approach to African American art and culture.

Jan Dolland, Gee's Bend Quilter's advocate and quilt collectorIn addition to the exhibit, Janet Dolland delivered two lectures on the quilts and their creators: the first was held at 7 PM on Saturday, February 3 at Art Gallery 21 (600 NE 21 Court, Wilton Manors, FL 33305); and, the second at 7 PM on Wednesday, February 7 at Old Dillard Museum (1001 NW 4th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311).

Gallery Docents were in attendance every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 12 Noon to 8 PM from February 3 through March 10, 2018. The exhibit was free to the public and groups were welcomed from Palm Beach to the Florida Keys.  Art Gallery 21 is located in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors at the northeast corner of Hagen Park, one block east of Wilton Drive. Look for the “quilted doors” and you’ll know you’re there!

“The Painted Doors Project” pays homage to the Gee’s Bend Quilters thanks to artist George Gadson and our sponsor, Adrienne Foland of Balistreri Real Estate, Wilton Manors.

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