|L-R. Matt Arnett, Rita Mae Pettway and her daughter Louisiana Bendolph.|
Rita Mae Pettway and Louisiana Bendolph talked about life in rural Alabama and the conditions under which the quilting traditions developed. Today the quilts of Gee's Bend are perhaps the most famous quilts in the world. The works make textile artists proud because they are such a clear example of functional craft being recognized at the highest levels of the fine art world. These are strong quilts, bold and powerful. In their strength they are the voice of the people who make them.
|Rita Mae Pettway's "Housetop" quilt.|
Louisiana has taken the graphic imagery of the quilt making process and applied it in non-fabric media. She has worked in silk-screening, etching, and had one of her prints New Generation translated into ceramic tiles for an installation at the San Francisco International Airport.
|Louisiana Bendolph's print, and the ceramic tiles being prepared.|
|American Housetop (for the Arnetts)|
Color aquatint, spitbite aquatint and
softground etching on paper
The women were joined by Matt Arnett. Matt and his father William have dedicated their lives to the Gee's Bend quilters, and to documenting the art traditions, music, stories, and lives of the African American community in the Deep South.
Biographies of the quilters of Gee's Bend can be found online at the Souls Grown Deep Foundation website. The website also has an excellent section on the different quilting patterns.
|Rita Mae Pettway speaks about her childhood, her daughter, Lou is behind her.|