News & Events

September 24, 2020

Every quilt has a story to tell, and the quilters of Gee's Bend have fostered quite a legacy for storytelling. For over a hundred years, the women who live in this small community in Southern Alabama have passed down the tradition of quilting from daughter to daughter, and each quilt reveals the personage who made it and the time period in which it was artfully stitched together. "It's been a continuous line of creation," says Raina A. Lampkins-Fielder, curator at Souls Grown Deep. "They've taken traditional quilt patterning and made it into their own, improvisational and unique."

September 16, 2020

When the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts bought Manuel Mathieu's painting of his late grandmother in 2018, he learned that it would be the first work the museum had ever owned by a Haitian-Canadian artist. "I automatically started thinking, 'OK, how can I make sure that I'm not the only one?,' " Mathieu recalls. Mathieu, 33, decided to donate the money from the sale of his painting back to the museum, to start a fund to acquire other pieces by under-represented artists. Soon donors were eager to give to the Marie-Solange Apollon Fund, named for Mathieu's grandmother. "There's something that happened that I wasn't expecting," Mathieu says. "The switch in the psyche of people that an artist can do something like that. ... I saw it in people's eyes, not in their words."

August 27, 2020

What began as an exercise in making beauty out of necessity (the quilts were historically used to keep warm at home) has become a multigenerational art form that marries spirituality, ancestral legacy and community (stitching is largely a group activity), not to mention an exceptional command of colour, form and compositional rhythm. By combining well-known quilting techniques with a specific blend of “controlled improvisation”, each maker creates something distinct and mesmeric, and every bit as complex as the European modernists who were once reconceiving line, colour and space thousands of miles away.