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EXHIBIT: African American Quilt Circle of Durham

ON VIEW NOW at the Forum for Scholars and Publics


EXHIBIT: African American Quilt Circle of Durham


About the Exhibit


Quilts on loan from the African American Quilt Circle of Durham (AAQC) are currently on display in the FSP meeting space.

The  AAQC was founded in Durham, NC, in 1998 as a way of preserving the heritage of quilting in the African-American community. Over the past 20 years, the AAQC has grown into an arts group of over 60 quilters and quilt aficionados, some of whom hail from as far away as Panama. The group meets monthly at St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham to share quilting tips and resources, provide instruction for new members and support for experienced quilters, and extend the bonds of sisterhood.

AAQC members work in a range of styles, from traditional block designs and hand quilting to original designs, machine quilting, and contemporary three-dimensional fiber arts. Their artworks have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have been featured in magazines and quilt publications and on local television. In 2008, the AAQC self-published a book entitled The African American Quilt Circle of Durham.

The AAQC takes seriously its charge to maintain the heritage of quilting in the Black community and is committed to supporting community projects. The group’s contributions to local and statewide organizations have been numerous and include making donation quilts, sponsoring Community Quilt Days, providing quilt demonstrations, and participating in local cultural festivals. The AAQC has received local and national recognition for the creativity and skills of its members. The Durham Herald Sun voted their 2003 quilt exhibition among the 10 Best Art Exhibitions of the year. In 2010, the AAQC was one of the recipients of the Indies Arts Award, an honor bestowed annually by the Independent Weekly to celebrate extraordinary contributions to the cultural life of the Triangle.



Currently On Display

Kimberley Cartwright, Khamet Land of the Blacks

Kimberley Cartwright

Khamet Land of the Blacks
"This quilt is my tribute to ancient Egyptian Blacks. It is my way of connecting my spirit to African ancestors. It is a self-portrait crystal clear and melanated. Africa forever. Black land. Black People."
Nancy Cash, Every Woman Shares a Season

Nancy Cash

Every Woman Shares a Season
"Unity of women, balance and strengthen our lives through all seasons from winter storms through spring sunshine. As sisters, we offer the hand of eternal friendships guiding each other through the weather. Forecasting the intertwining of our lives is often beyond our own understanding. Although some enter your life for only a season, all come for a predestinated reason."
Jacqueline Hicks Richardson, It Takes Two

Jacqueline Hicks Richardson

It Takes Two
"This piece was originally created as part of an AAQC exhibit fabric challenge. It was also my first attempt at appliqué and the use of embellishment. The couple is appliquéd in the center with the huts appliquéd and pieced into the traditional “court house steps” style blocks. As a scientist, I also included fabrics that remind me of our cellular structure and mitochondrial DNA."


Shirley Bullock, The Harvest

Shirley Bullock

The Harvest
"This quilt celebrates the vegetable garden. From early childhood, my dad always had a garden. My favorite vegetables were squash and tomatoes. They are represented using raw edge appliqué and machine quilting with cotton fabrics and bead accents."
Veronica A. Carlisle, Swirly Fro

Veronica A. Carlisle

Swirly Fro
"This quilt serves as a milestone in my quilting journey. It was the result of a small group challenge with the goal of using an aspect of a painting as the focus of a quilt. I chose a yellow block with a red swirl from the painting and carried the theme throughout, including in the hair, jewelry, and background. Application of embellishments and “new to me” quilting techniques were also utilized. This sister is swirling her fro."
Kim F. Hall, Mermaid Party: A Celebration of Fernand Pierre

Kim F. Hall

Mermaid Party: A Celebration of Fernand Pierre
"This quilt recreates the work of Haitian artist Fernand Pierre (1919-2002). His vibrantly colored mermaid paintings are among his most valued works. Whether dancing, playing music or enjoying scenery, they are always having a good time! In addition to the colors, I love his flowering trees abundantly laden with fruit. I made most of the quilt while at Myrtle Beach with my extended family. This is my third mermaid quilt."


Veronica A. Carlisle, Threads of Africa

Veronica A. Carlisle

Threads of Africa
"This is called a sting quilt because of the small strips of fabric making up the inner blocks. I found cutting and sewing the strips of colorful African fabrics into blocks meditative. The combination of colors and fabric design reminds me of the beauty of Africa."
Sauda A. Zahra, Calling the Ancestors

Sauda A. Zahra

Calling the Ancestors
"Masks are often used in African culture to represent the spirit of the ancestors. African masks serve as a reminder of the relationships we can have with those beyond our earthly realm, if we seek their guidance and wisdom. A connection with the ancestors can provide a sense of security that strengthens you and reminds you that you are never alone."



EXHIBIT: African American Quilt Circle of Durham


March - December, 2018
Quilts of the African American Quilt Circle of Durham
011 Old Chemistry, Duke West Campus Quad
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