African American Quilt History Lecture by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi
“Building a Legacy: African American Quilt History” Lecture by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi with jazz performance by Dennis W. Spears & The Wolverines Jazz Trio
Saturday, March 11 • 6 to 7:30 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm, music begins at 5:45 pm. Reception follows.
Co-presented with by Minnesota Quilters at its new headquarters: Recovery Church, 253 State Street South, in Saint Paul
No artistic form is more closely associated with African American culture than quilt making, representing skill, aesthetic beauty, and utilitarian need. For African Americans, the quilt became a covert expression of resistance within the context of storytelling. In the past few decades, traveling museum exhibitions have brought African American quilts to the public, stimulating broad interest and offering extraordinary opportunity for scholarly study. As a result, African American-made quilts are now celebrated and highly collectable. From improvisation to art quilts, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi will discuss the historical and cultural significance of quilts made in the African American community.
Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi bio
Historian, Curator, Author, Lecturer, Artist, Mentor, Founder, and Facilitator — the remarkable Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi has left her mark on many lives. Trained as an aerospace engineer, she turned her sights and tireless efforts in the 1980s to bring the many unrecognized contributions of African American quilt artists to the attention of the American people as well as the international art communities.
From the founding of the African-American Quilt Guild of Los Angeles in 1981 to the 1985 founding of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi has been at the forefront of educating the public about the diversity of interpretation, styles and techniques among African American quilters as well as educating a younger generation of African Americans about their own history through the quilts the WCQN members create.
Mazloomi’s quilts can be found in private collections around the world as well as in distinguished museum collections in the United States. To date she has published nine books highlighting African American-made quilts. Her artistic work, as well as her defense of solid research, has disrupted long-standing myths about African American quilts, myths much debated among quilt historians and quilters alike, and thus moved the conversation about African American quilt history forward to more a solid academic footing.
Her national honors include the 2003 Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award, the first such award for any Ohio citizen. In 2014 the National Endowment for the Arts named her a National Heritage Fellow, the highest award given in the United States for traditional arts. In 2014 she was awarded the Distinguished Scholar & Celebrated Artist Lifetime Achievement Award by Faith Ringgold’s Anyone Can Fly Foundation. Mazloomi is the 2016 inductee to the Quilters Hall of Fame Museum.
2013 Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Inductee
“Dennis Spears’ voice isn’t just an instrument, it’s a continent: He sings of the rich earth of the south where the roots of the blues and jazz are deeply planted, of the lucid north where freedom of expression thrives. He deftly touches on the sharp sophistication of the east coast and the eclectic energy of the west, striking a common chord among us with every turn of phrase.” – M. Dodge (Criterion Jazz Review)
Dennis Spears became known as the male voice of Moore By Four, the locally-based, internationally heeled quartet headed by pianist/arranger Sanford Moore, featuring the voices of Spears, Yolanda Bruce, Ginger Commodore and Connie Evingson. Dennis has kept himself busy and visible ever since, performing in theater, in music ensembles, and gigging with his own band(s). He is one of the best entertainers around this area, and his renown is growing. His theater piece about Nat King Cole was presented at the Kennedy Center in spring 2011. He serves as the artistic director of the Capri Theater’s Legends series.
The Wolverines Jazz Trio The Wolverines Jazz Trio are well known for their standing gigs at Hell’s Kitchen-Minneapolis and from their time at the Times Jazz Brunch. Rick Carlson’s hard swinging keys, Steve Pikal’s thumping bass, and Jendeen Forberg’s power on the drums continue to make for an amazing night of music.