I know that it has been forever since I posted. The election is over, Barack Obama won, YEAH!! The holidays have come and the inauguration is just next week! Wow, time really flies.
I was planning on attending the inauguration next week, but instead I had the honor of going to Washington D.C. this past weekend to participate in a quilt show to celebrate the inauguration.
The "Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President" exhibit opened on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at the Washington Historical Society. I was one of forty four master quilters that were invited to submit a quilt depicting the journey to historical event of Barack Obama being elected as our 44th President.
I am so blessed to have been accompanied by my husband, daughter, sister, nieces, nephews and close friends. I was especially blessed to have my best friend, Valerie, to travel all the way from Toronto, Canada to surprise me and attend. It was a great experience.
Myself and three of my fellow quilters were featured on the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer on January 12, 2009. It was great to get public recognition, many thanks go out to my sister-friend Rosalind Thomas for making it happen.
I'll post the article when I figure out how to. In the meantime I have attached a photo of the quilt and artist statement explaining it. Enjoy!
Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President
“Unparalleled Journey” by Carole Gary Staples
When I reflect upon the United States of America’s journey to elect an African-American as its 44th president, my heart radiates with joy and astonishment. America’s journey to equality has been an accumulation of many parallel, long arduous voyages, and rites of passage. This piece is representative of the United States’ journey, Black America’s journey and White America’s journey, which together made this historical event possible.
“Unparalleled Journey” commemorates images of many of the symbolic, authentic and significant events encountered along this journey. The three ribbons of color, which flow through the work, represent the three journeys, parallel in time, yet unparalleled in reality. The quilt also depicts events in our history that contributed to America being readied spiritually, physically and mentally for an African-American to be elected to its highest office.
Quotations by Barack Obama and other historic leaders flank the outer border of the quilt. Many of the symbolic images within the piece reflect the meaning and the prophecy of those quotations.
The brown print fabric at the bottom of the piece represents the land that this great country is built upon. Footprints dominate the green print that I choose to show those who made the historic middle passage and the blue print represents the water that delivered a people to the shores of this great land. The female images depict the dark days of slavery. The figure clad in the muted hued dress is a slave; the one in the vibrant dress is freed. Also celebrated on the “Journey” are the old Negro hymns and the Emancipation Proclamation, without which this journey could never have been made.
The experience of seeing the many colors of the rainbow is one that we can all share and The Rev. Jesse Jackson has often spoken about. I’ve included it in my piece to signify that unity is possible among all Americans and is representative of the multitude of ethnicity's that make up this country. Mountains seen in the background reflect the strength required to continue on the “Journey” and reflects the many references to mountains made by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in many of his speeches. Any bill signed into law by the President of the United States requires paperwork and documentation. That is the reason I have included the three blank documents as well. They represent historic legislation such as Brown v. The Board of education, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. All of which occurred during the continuation of the “Unparalleled Journey”.
The autumn scenery in the background represents a figurative change of season in America. Autumn marks a time of transition and is the season of primary harvest. On this journey it is the season in which a greatly hoped for and anticipated transition occurred and the seeds sown during the summer indeed resulted in a season of “primary harvest” for 2008 America. Diversity is represented in the rally of the diverse people seen on the face if the quilt. While we are different in many ways we are all Americans and we have journeyed well together.