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McKissick Museum exhibit has quilting buffs covered

'Piece by Piece' showcases quilting traditions

[caption id="attachment_41358" align="aligncenter" width="600"]English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. Provided by McKissick Museum.[/caption]
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is proud to present the seventh rendition of its Diverse Voices exhibition series, “Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection.” On display through July 18, 2020 “Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past 150 years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection. Because of the fragile nature of historical textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year, according to the museum. Throughout the exhibition, panels explore the lives of these textile artists like quiltmaker Hattie Mitchell Grubbs, who was born in Barnwell and lived to be 97. Saddler Taylor, McKissick’s chief curator of folklife and fieldwork, is excited about the exhibition. “Quilts carry a strong sense of familial intimacy and human connection. It's strangely ironic that we know so little about many of the makers. This exhibition features beautiful examples of Southern quilts; but more importantly, we want to tell the story of some of the makers. Only then can the quilts be fully appreciated," Taylor said.
“Piece by Piece” is accompanied by a robust programming calendar, beginning with an opening reception with light refreshments on Sept. 12, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m. This free reception will feature a curator-led gallery talk beginning at 6 p.m. FOLKFabulous@theFair Oct. 9-20 2019 This year, our signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s rich textile arts heritage, including Native American, African American, and Mennonite quilting traditions, in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. You’re invited to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home! Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, concerts and hands-on music workshops. You won’t want to miss the chance to try your hand at making a story quilt block or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. FOLKFabulous 2019 is free with SC State Fair admission.   Lunch & Learn: “Quilts and the Stories of My Life” with Peggie Hartwell Oct. 14, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Grab your lunch and learn more about the life and work of 2017 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner Peggie Hartwell. Peggie is a fourth-generation African-American quilter and textile educator who is nationally recognized for her unique storytelling form. Lunch & Learn events are free and open to the public; space is limited.   Lunch & Learn: “Interpreting Civil War Quilts: It Gets Complicated” with Jane Pryzybysz Nov. 13, 2019 (12-1 p.m.) Explore the interpretation of civil war era quilts with McKissick Museum's Executive Director, Dr. Jane Pryzybysz.   An Afternoon with Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi (Fall 2019) Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and Founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network.   The Quilt History Project – A Look Back (Fall 2019) Laurel Horton, lead scholar on McKissick Museum's Quilt History Project in 1984-1986.   Quilt Documentation Days (Spring 2020) Dr. Jane Przybysz, Executive Director, McKissick Museum.   Quilts and Wellbeing (Spring 2020) Marsha MacDowell, textile scholar and project director of The Quilt Index. Faculty, Michigan State University, Curator of Folk Arts at the Michigan State University Museum.   Lunch & Learn: “The Blythewood Survey Project” (Spring 2020) Kem Smith, project director for the Blythewood Quilt Survey Project.
McKissick’s calendar of events is updated frequently and available online. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. “Piece by Piece” and associated programming is made possible through support from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

S.C. Arts Awards: Dorothy Brown Glover

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Dorothy Brown Glover

Quilting Dorothy Glover is well-known for her distinctive use of traditional quilt design elements and patterns from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1925, she was the child of farmers Essie and William Glover creates exquisite quilt tops incorporating improvisational design methods that were popular among quilters whose social and economic status did not allow for the purchase of store-bought fabric for use in quilt making. Like most farm girls of her time, Glover was introduced to quilting by watching her mother make the quilts beneath which she slept as a child. These family treasures were created from strips and blocks of fabric salvaged from various articles of family clothing that were worn out and no longer wearable. The quilt backings were made from feed sacks and other pieces of old cloth from around the household. As a young adult, Glover took up the tradition and in time, through her patient and persistent devotion, she became a master of the art form. After marrying, Glover and her husband, Curtis, made their home in Lincolnville, where they raised their children. Continuing the family tradition, all three children slept each night beneath the quilts made by their talented mother. Lincolnville Town Hall, across the street from Glovers’ home, became an important artistic oasis. It was there that Ms. Glover embraced a community of women who organized an ongoing quilting bee, via which they shared an infinitude of creative ideas and tales of town history. This unique quilting bee, among other significant achievements, pieced together a group quilt to provide an historical timeline of Lincolnville—a place that had been founded by freed African-Americans following the Civil War. The women’s powerful history quilt paid homage to the days of the Reconstruction era, when Lincolnville became a haven to which formerly enslaved families came for a better life and community support. This special bee came, in time, to capture the hearts (and hands!) of many of the women of Lincolnville. For decades, Glover has inspired countless quilters, young and old, to join her in her artistic journey. Glover’s quilt reputation does not stop at Lincolnville. Quilters from throughout the state come to seek out her impressive quilting knowledge. Interested quilters watch her work painstakingly on intricate patterns like the “The Cathedral Window,” a quilt design known for the artist’s use of “invisible hand” applique stitches and precision piecing. Glover gracefully transforms thoughts and visions onto fabric and encourages other quilters, regardless of skill level, to experiment with patterns, colors, and designs. She generously shares her knowledge with all who want to learn and makes herself available to younger artists who seek out her experience and guidance.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Historic Belton Train Depot site of new Upstate Heritage Quilt

Thanks to the skill of upstate quilters, volunteers, and a local manufacturing company, a painted copy of a century-plus-old heirloom quilt now graces the side of the historic Belton Train Depot. The quilt block was erected in May by employees of Darby Metalworks, Inc., of Anderson and Belton Area Museum Association board member Walter Smith. The “Carolina Lily” quilt joins 113 other examples located in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties as part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The blocks can usually be found on historic buildings, fusing an interest in quilts with heritage tourism. “The board of the Belton Area Museum Association chose the ‘Carolina Lily’ quilt because it is among the oldest in the local area and is owned by board member LuAnne Childress Foster,” said BAMA President Tim Drake. The pattern, which has numerous pseudonyms, dates back to the 19th century. “It took almost a year to complete the work on the block because it is such an intricate pattern,” said Foster, who coordinated the quilt block project. [caption id="attachment_7031" align="alignright" width="600"]Historic Belton Train Depot Left to right: Shirah Smith, Tim Drake, LuAnne Foster, Shirley Smith (descendant of quilt maker Elizabeth Worsham) and her husband, Mike Smith.[/caption] Members of the Prickly Fingers Quilters Guild of Anderson again transformed their skills as quilters into one-dimensional artwork, having produced several blocks for display since their first effort in 2011. Quilters who completed this block include Diane Schonauer, Stamie Cline, Marcia Whaley, Debby Stone, Joan Korth, Lou Russell, Robin Kaja, Wendy Wolff and Teri Walker. The original quilt was started in 1851 and finished in 1854. It was made by Elizabeth B. Worsham to prove her worthiness to become the second wife of John H. Worsham of Jackson County, Georgia. His children’s initials and hand prints are located in each corner and throughout the squares on the quilt. The quilt was passed down from mother to daughter for three generations until it was sold at auction. “The quilt block can be viewed at any time since it is located on the outside of the building," said BAMA Executive Director Shirah Smith. "We’re so pleased to preserve this important art form for the public to see.” The painted quilt block is on display at the North entrance (Breazeale Street) of the historic Belton Train Depot, located at 100 N. Main Street in Belton, S.C.  The quilt block is sponsored by the Belton Area Museum Association. (Related: Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Celebrates 100th Quilt - Nov. 2012) About the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) was begun in 2009 when Oconee County became the first to embrace the quilt trail concept. Since then, Oconee has been joined by Pickens and Anderson counties along with four other quilt trails in South Carolina: York County Quilt Trail, Foothills Quilt Trail-Landrum, McCormick County Quilt Trail and Ridge Heritage Quilt Trail. Information and interactive maps of all the S.C. trails can be found at www.uhqt.org. About the Belton Area Museum Association The Belton Area Museum Association oversees the Ruth Drake Museum, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, the Center Section, the North End Gallery, and Whistle Stop Gifts, all located in the historic Belton Train Depot. For more information, call (864) 338-7400, or visit www.beltonsc.com or Facebook. Via: Belton Area Museum Association

Entries sought for 7th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition

African-American art quilt artists in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, age 18 and up, are invited to participate in an African American Fiber Art Exhibition, Once Upon a Quilt: Welcome to My Quilted Story Book. The seventh annual juried exhibition is presented as a component of the annual North Charleston Arts Festival, to be held May 3-11, 2013. A $25 entry fee allows artists to submit up to two entries; limit four entries per applicant. Applications may be downloaded from the Applications page at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15, 2013. Emerging quilt artists under the age of 18 may submit quilts for Our Next Generation, a parallel exhibition that will be on display at the Unity Church of Charleston. Organized and presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, and curated by award winning and nationally exhibiting textile artist, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, Once Upon a Quilt offers African-American art quilters a showcase to display their original and innovative designs. This year’s show will feature art quilts inspired by beloved stories, whether they begin with, “Once upon a time…,” “In a galaxy far, far away…,” or “In the land that time forgot…” Artists’ muse may be a favorite bedtime story, Aesop’s fable, Gullah ghost story, young adult fiction, or an inspiring biography of an admired s/hero. Artists are asked to reach back onto the storybook shelf of their memory and create an original art quilt that tells a story that has encouraged, inspired, comforted or enchanted. The exhibition will be on display April 30-June 20, 2013, at North Charleston City Hall, with a public reception schedule for Thursday, May 9, 2013, from 6 - 8 p.m. Following the close of the show, up to 30 works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2013/2014 Traveling Exhibitions Program. Sites across South Carolina may request the exhibit to tour in their facilities, thus providing additional exposure for the selected artists. For more information, contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Via: North Charleston Arts Festival [caption id="attachment_3792" align="alignleft" width="600"] "Under the Harlem River," fiber art by Kim Hall[/caption]

Patchworks of History: The Quilts of Historic Columbia Foundation

Historic Columbia Foundation debuts "Patchworks of History: The Quilts of Historic Columbia Foundation," a new exhibit featuring handcrafted quilts dating back to the 1820s. "Patchworks" will be on display at the Robert Mills House from Jan. 25 through March 17 as part of HCF’s Robert Mills House tours. Since 1965, HCF has collected and exhibited quilts as a way of preserving the history of Columbia, Richland County and South Carolina. This new exhibit will feature five of the 52 quilts from HCF’s collection as well as early 19th century sewing notions, including a Lady's Companion sewing kit that belonged to Sarah Hall Crotchet, niece of Ainsley Hall (the original owner of the Robert Mills House). Lady's Companion sewing kit A very labor-intensive craft, quilting became popular in the United States during the early 19th century. Through artifacts, displays and photos, visitors will learn about quilting and the stories quilts tell. “Favorite shirts, dresses and even towels are purchased, used and disposed of during our lifetimes without thinking. However, quilts, often handmade and passed from generation to generation, are some of America’s most prized family possessions,” says Fielding Freed, director of Historic House Museums. “With pattern names such as Rainbow Tile, Lily of the Valley and Anvil, the colorful and patterned quilts displayed in the exhibit are a feast for the eyes.” A quilting workshop will take place Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 am to 3pm at the Robert Mills House. This event includes a tour of the newly installed Patchworks exhibit as well as a workshop on how to make a crazy quilt. The exhibit is presented as part of the regularly scheduled guided tours of the Robert Mills House. Tours run at the top of the hour Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm and Sunday, 1 to 4 pm. Free for HCF members, the tour is $6 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth. Tickets can be purchased at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, 1616 Blanding Street. Visit www.historiccolumbia.org for more information about the exhibit and the workshop. Via: Historic Columbia Foundation

Milly

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Celebrates 100th Quilt

[gallery link="file"] Crazy Quilt, Double Wedding Ring, Rocky Mountain Road, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Carolina Mystery, Churn Dasher, President’s Wreath -- the pattern names of quilts are just as creative as their makers. Visitors who travel the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina will find these quilt patterns and many more painted on wooden blocks and displayed on homes, arts centers, businesses, schools and historic or public buildings. Each painted quilt panel is a copy of an existing quilt that usually has some historical connection with the sponsoring family or organization. In September, the 100th quilt block was mounted on the City of Westminster's Municipal Building. Essie Jane Spencer Smith of the Madison (Old Liberty Baptist Church) Community of Oconee County made the original quilt sometime before August 1945 as a wedding present to her son, Spencer and his wife, Lelline Smith. Donna J. Smith Campbell, Essie Smith’s granddaughter, sponsored this addition to the trail. The quilt trail concept was born in Adams County, Ohio in 2001, when Donna Sue Groves, a field representative with the Ohio Arts Council, decorated her family’s barn with a quilt square pattern from one of her mother's quilts. Today, more than 4,000 quilt blocks can be found in 43 states. In 2009, Oconee County became the first in South Carolina to embrace the quilt trail concept. The first quilt square was mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla. Today, the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail includes Anderson and Pickens counties and is a collaborative effort by organizations, businesses and individuals who want to preserve the area's heritage and promote the Upstate. Before setting out on the actual trail, visit the Upstate Quilt Trail website to view quilt blocks, learn about their history and find their locations. Check out this article in Sandlapper Magazine for more insight into how group leader Martha Fife and a band of volunteers produce and manage the installation of quilt blocks. Via: Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Sandlapper Magazine