MRH Elementary Creating Quilts in Honor of Black History Month
Gee’s Bend is a very small, African-American community in rural Alabama. Nineteenth century Gee’s Bend women began making quilts as a way to keep their families warm in unheated, roughly built shacks. Using whatever materials they had available in this isolated region, the resulting quilts have never-the-less been described as vibrant and stunning. What was formerly a labor of necessity has now become an internationally recognized art-form for the women of Gee’s Bend who carry on this 200 year tradition of extraordinary quilt-making.
“In honor of Black History month MRH Elementary students will be introduced to the book The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by William Arnett. The book tells about the history of these remarkable quilts and the African-American artists who have been creating them.” said MRHE counselor, Lesa Thomas. Thomas is coordinating activities for Black History Month. “We’ll introduce the concept and designs for our quilts in Art class,” MRHE art teacher Sally Saldana further explained. Students will be asked to bring in one item of used fabric, perhaps clothing they or another family member no longer wears. “Most any type of fabric will be fine - any patterns, colors or logo designs should only make the quilts more interesting!” Saldana did ask that students refrain from bringing in sweaters, as that material can be difficult to sew. Each class will design and create their own quilt inspired by the traditions of Gee’s Bend.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.