Last week, I got word that my "protest quilt" (I wrote about the making of it here.), Compare and Contrast, was juried into the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Association) Regional Exhibit Declaration of Sentiments 1848--The Struggle Continues. This is a regional exhibit in which SAQA members from KY/TN, IL/WI, IN/OH, and MO/KS/OK were eligible to enter.
If you don't know, the Declaration of Sentiments is the foundational document for women's rights drafted in Seneca Falls, NY, July 1848 at our nation's first women's rights convention. Some of the wormen's concerns at that time were employment, educational opportunities, voting and property rights, and social and religious degradation.
This exhibition celebrates women's accomplishments and honors their struggles throughout American history. The pieces may be abstract, graphic, or representational and illustrate the artist's passion, anger, hope perseverance or celebration of women's rights.
The "protest" part is quilted into the stripes of the flag. The blog post about the making of this quilt lists the quotes. The quilt didn't get into the exhibit it was originally made for (Threads of Resistance), but I'm happy it will "see the light of day." The making of this quilt helped me to work through some of my feelings about the current state of politics in this country. That is the real value of this quilt to me.
For the Sentiments Exhibit, I had to cut down my artist statement to something like 200 characters, but my "full" artist statement for this piece is--"In the Declaration of Sentiments, women were fighting for equality and the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the Declaration were being written today, I would hope that in addition to women, minorities, immigrants, the disabled, the LGBT community, and the free press would all be included. All have recently been “attacked.” I believe that those of a like mind—those who believe in principles like those put forth by the Declaration of Sentiments—must ban together to fight ignorance and disrespect.
For me, the American flag represents all that is right about America. I honor those who have sacrificed for the rights “most” of us have in this country. A waving flag is a symbol of patriotism for me and for most people. I want those first viewing this flag to feel that patriotism. However, upon closer inspection I want them to discover the quilted quotes that illustrate the disrespect shown for women, Mexicans, Muslims, the free press, etc. My way of fighting such ignorance and disrespect of women (AND others) is this piece which compares and contrasts two very different and conflicting views of America."
The premier location for the exhibit is the AQS Show in Paducah, KY, September 13-16, 2017. At this time, I don't know if it will be exhibited anywhere else, but I certainly hope so. If you are planning to attend the new fall AQS show in Paducah, check it out.