The Quilters of Giesbend, Alabama are famous for their unique style of quilting that has been passed down for generations. Their quilts are considered works of art and are highly regarded by collectors and museums around the world. On Thursday, March 9, her two famous quilters from her Giesbend Quilter Collective, Ms. Mary Ann Pettway and Ms. China Pettway, will be honored at a reception at the Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda, California.
Gee’s Bend’s quilting tradition has its roots in the days of slavery, when quilts were needed for warmth. This tradition has been passed down for generations, and the women of Gies Bend pass on their skills and knowledge. Their quilts feature bold colors, unique designs, and asymmetrical patterns that have survived the antebellum South and the hardships of Jim Crow. In 1966, during the civil rights movement, Freedom Her Quilting Bee was established to help African-American women from Giesbend and nearby Rehoboth achieve financial independence.
Both Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway are cultural bearers of this tradition and their quilts are nationally and internationally recognized. Their creations are considered artifacts, witnessing generations of challenges and triumphs. The reception will share stories of quilt-making and singing, and give attendees a glimpse into the history of Gise and her bend.
Quilts will be exhibited and sold at the reception. Visitors can also browse a digital catalog of quilts available for purchase. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks are provided, and plenty of street parking is available. Head to Rhythmix at 2513 Blanding Ave at 4pm for a one hour free event.
This event is presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, City of Alameda, and Rhythmix. This is a unique opportunity for him to meet and pay tribute to two famous quilters and learn about their unique art form. Don’t miss your chance to see these beautiful works of art in person and support the women of Gee’s Bend.
In addition to the March 9th reception, quilts from the Gee’s Bend Kilter Collective will also be on display at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Auckland from March 3rd to March 25th. The gallery is located at 406 14th Street and is open to the public during normal gallery hours.