Voice & Vision: Fabric of Community
Time & Location
About The Event
Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, 2020
Friday, 6PM dance performance; Saturday, 1-3PM quilting circle
Many of Walter Anderson’s artworks were made for both aesthetic and functional purposes, none more so than a rare hooked rug that he made during the early years of his marriage to Agnes Grinstead “Sissy” Anderson. This work echoes the Southern tradition of quilt making, both an art form and a powerful vehicle for familial connection and community tradition. In partnership with the River City Quilters in Moss Point, MS, the Museum stages two programs celebrating the ways in which these handmade objects strengthen the social fabric. Cost: Free to the public.
Live Oak: A Performative Work Doors at 5:30PM, Performance at 6PM Conceived, developed, and performed by Anjali Austin, Chair of the Dance Department at Florida State University, Live Oak is an auto-ethnographic portrayal that highlights how familial influences shape one’s life. A tribute to Ms. Austin’s ancestors, it is centered around 33 quilts inherited from, with the majority being designed and crafted by, her maternal grandmother Gussie Beatrice Arnold Hill (1912-1988). Within the solo work Ms. Austin investigates the human experience during a time in African-American history when their existence, contributions to society, and cultural and professional achievements were stunted and devalued.
The piece speaks to strength and resilience amidst struggle, and interweaves first hand cultural histories from the lived African-American experience. “With this investigative work came a level of emotion that foretold I was being guided toward something greater than myself.” Austin continues,“For more than 25 years I have been the protective keeper of these quilts. Those in good condition were used as bed coverings and art displayed on walls in my home. After all, these are ‘working quilts’ made for use. The time has arrived to acknowledge and recognize the ingenuity, creativity, skill and artistry, of these quilts; and celebrate the artist who made them – Gussie Beatrice Arnold Hill.”
Quilting Circle and Gallery Talk 1-3PM The public is invited to join FSU School of Dance Department Chair, Anjali Austin, and the River City Quilters in a quilting and storytelling circle in the galleries. This informal, intergenerational program invites the public to participate in the quilting process, as well as discussion about quilting traditions.
These programs are part of the Museum’s Voice & Vision initiative that stages dialogues between the works of Walter Anderson and artifacts from other collections, along with voices across time and place. Voice and Vision includes four in-gallery installations composed of artworks, objects, scholarship, and documentary fieldwork, representing a diversity of stories and experiences rooted in the Southern land. Voice and Vision and its programs are financially assisted by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council.