Quilt exhibit celebrates African American history, culture

Renee Allen, “Juneteenth.” (Cotton fabric, cotton thread, acrylic paint, colored pencil)

Featuring artists from the Women of Color Quilters Network, the exhibit “And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations” exhibit charts four centuries of African American history with 69 handcrafted contemporary story quilts.

The show opens Friday — the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth Emancipation Day — at the Bullock Museum.

Preview a few quilts from the exhibit in this slide show.

Arranged in chronological order, the quilts visually tell the stories of event including the first enslaved Africans brought over by Dutch traders in 1619, the 1839 slave revolt on the Spanish ship La Amistad, the 1865 Juneteenth Emancipation Day in Texas and the Civil Rights Movement.

Key figures in culture are honored too such as actress Hattie McDaniel — the first African American actor to win an Academy Award — and poet Langston Hughes.


Also opening Friday at the Bullock is “Reflections: African American Life from the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection.”

Selected from the private art collection of Myrna Colley-Lee — one of the foremost costume designers in the Black Theatre Movement — comes a gathering of mostly figurative and representational art that reflects the African American experience by noted modern and contemporary artists including Romare Bearden, James Van Der Zee, Elizabeth Catlett and Bettye Saar.

Both exhibits continue through Aug. 30.
Museum hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Bullock Museum, 1900 N. Congress Ave.
Admission: $8-$12

Author: Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the arts critic for the Austin American-Statesman. She writes about visual art, theater, dance, music, performance, public art, architecture and just about any combination thereof.

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