Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet the Gee's Bend Quilters


Yesterday was one I've looked forward to for many years.  FINALLY, I was able to meet and photograph some of the now famous Gee's Bend quilters.  They are here for the week participating in Common Threads at the Alys Stephens Center at UAB, along with Groupe Bogolon Kasobane mud cloth makers from Bamako, Mali.  This partnership brings together textile artists from West Alabama and West Africa.  It's free to the public and what I loved the most was the access to interact and move around and watch them work. I took a LOT of photographs, hung over their shoulders while they worked, and asked a million questions.  Everyone was delightfully patient.  The artists from Mali tolerated my weak French, and the Gee's Bend ladies even sang a few spirituals while they worked.  I'm sorry I didn't have a video cam for that!  Today I wanted you to meet these ladies, but this week I'll have more from both groups.  I LOVE THIS "JOB"!

16 comments:

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Their quilt show came through here a few years ago. It was a huge hit.

Pet said...

It sounds like you are having a really interesting time!

Thérèse said...

I really wish I could have been with you that day... and add a few questions...

brattcat said...

Fantastic!!!!!! I'm so glad you are the one to document this coming together of textile artists. I've been a big fan of the Gee's Bend quilters for years.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful experience! And your photos are fabulous!

Kate said...

I'm another fan of the Gee's Bend Quilters. I am SO Jealous that you got to meet and greet them. Looking forward to your future photos. Aside: An artist friend visited them about 8-10 years ago, and they GAVE her and her teen-aged son each a quilt. Imagine that kind of generosity as a "thank you" for some exhibits she organized here for them. Many of their quilts were sold and they got to keep every penny of the profits.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Excellent tradition, well documented by you.

I was interested in your comment on Julie's Scottsdale site yesterday. We normally avoid subjects that could have political overtones on the daily photo sites, but Julie and i have a lot of history and personal involvement on the issue.

Luis Gomez said...

Great pictures Virginia. Beautiful post.

Daryl said...

I am sure they were equally charmed by the graciousness that is Virg!

Nathalie said...

Virginia, your portraits and story are inspirational. I love them. There's such a great spirit here! I look forward to your next photos. Congratulations to all.

Nathalie said...

The first lady's smile brings me back again. It is a joy to watch !

Birdman said...

Looking forward to the next few days. Fine portraits.

altadenahiker said...

Great portraits. One of my favorite non-fiction book visits quilters around the country and records the stories they tell while working.

Stitchfork said...

Great photos of such talented ladies! I am always in awe of quilters.
xo Cathy

cieldequimper said...

Super. After lunch, I'm quilting all afternoon in the hope I might finish at least one Christmas present out of five I have planned!

TheChieftess said...

Fabulous portraits V!!!