Cost: Free of Charge
Alison Jacques Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Europe devoted to three generations of women artists living in Gee’s Bend, officially known as Boykin, a remote black community situated on a U-turn in the Alabama River.
The show is organised in partnership with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the contributions of African American artists from the Southern states, and provides a survey of quilts spanning nearly 100 years, with a number of the artists still living and working in Boykin to this day.
The residents of Gee’s Bend are almost all descendants of slaves who worked on the original Pettway plantation—many bear the slaveowner’s name to this day. During the Civil Rights Movement, the community gained national recognition when they established the Freedom Quilting Bee collaborative and distributed their quilts across the country. In 1999, the Los Angeles Times featured Gee’s Bend artist Mary Lee Bendolph in the Pulitzer Prize-winning article ‘Crossing Over’, an account of the community’s efforts to re-establish the Alabama River ferry service, which was suspended in 1967 by the white community who wanted to prevent the residents from registering to vote. In 2006, 39 years later, the ferry was reinstated. Mary Lee, whose daughter Essie Bendolph Pettway presents a work from 1973 in the exhibition, is still quilting today.
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Alison Jacques Gallery,