SCHOOL STRIKE *
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish schoolgirl who, at age 15, began protesting outside the Swedish parliament about the need for immediate action to combat climate change and has since become an outspoken climate activist.
She is known for having initiated the school strike for climate movement that formed in November 2018 and surged globally after the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December the same year. Her personal activism began in August 2018, when her recurring and solitary Skolstrejk för klimatet (“School strike for the climate”) protesting outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm began attracting media coverage, even though Sweden has already enacted “the most ambitious climate law in the world” – to be carbon neutral by 2045.
On 15 March 2019, an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call in striking and protesting. A similar event involving students from 125 countries took place on 24 May 2019. In March 2019, three members of the Norwegian parliament nominated Thunberg for the Nobel Peace Prize. Some media have described her impact on the world stage as the Greta Thunberg effect.
She is my hero! (Info taken from Wikipedia)
CALL TO ACTION
Please support the Plastic Pollution Coalition:
NATALYA KHOROVER AIKENS
Natalya’s art is an extension of her commitment to using recycled and repurposed materials, a lifelong advocacy. Her detailed works are nuanced and reimagined images inspired by the lines of the urban environment. A close examination of Natalya’s art reveals delightful and unexpected combinations of materials as diverse as vintage lace, plastic sheeting, and candy wrappers, layered and collaged with machine and hand stitching. www.artbynatalya.com
THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a power symbol of Mexican identity. She stands for everything from motherhood to feminism to social justice. Although strongly identified as a religious symbol, her image appeals to the secular world as well. She has become popular in so many ways. All are positive and affirming. The symbols are all meaningful to the image. She is depicted standing in flames with a crescent moon at her feet, held up by an angel. The roses are in response to the belief that she dropped Castilian roses out of her cape to prove she was not the imagination of Juan Diego who first encountered her in 1520.
CALL TO ACTION
National Peace Corps Association: www.peacecorpsconnect.org
FRANCES HOLLIDAY ALFORD
Frances Holliday Alford is an artist living in Grafton, Vermont. A native Texan, she was a special education teacher for many years. After retirement, she was able to focus on her art making. She is best known for heavy embellishment, bright colors, whimsical images and multimedia. www.FrancesHollidayAlford.com
ANCHOR AWEIGH *
You won’t find a monument with his name on Main Street, or a statue in the town square, but he’s a hero nonetheless. How else to describe a man who spent much of his 94 years in service to others, in ways both large and small?
A lifetime sailor, he served his country honorably and proudly as a Navy Lt JG during World War II, eventually settling his young family in Northern California. There, his dedicated commitment to giving—often quietly, behind the scenes—helped to build his small town’s educational, medical, and humanitarian communities. From serving on the school board to playing Santa at the local Senior Center, he was always ready with a hand and a smile. His philosophy was simple: to provide a solid secure mooring; to teach, support and encourage; and then — when the moment was right — to let go for a smooth sail, guided by the stars.
A hero? Yes. But also an outstanding citizen, friend, husband, father . . . my father: Joseph F. Sladky (July 19, 1923 – August 12, 2017)
CALL TO ACTION
Acts of kindness and service are like a stone being thrown into water. The ripples will not only affect those around to you, but will reach to generations to come.
Alex’s mission statement is to educate, inspire and grow today’s quilting community. With these goals in mind (and action) she has had the privilege and honoring of ushering tens of thousands of new people into the world of quilting. In addition to writing books, designing fabrics and teaching worldwide, for eleven years she hosted television’s premier quilt show, Simply Quilts. Currently Alex is taking advantage of new media by co-hosting and producing The Quilt Show (www.thequiltshow.com), an interactive web site featuring full production programming and connecting quilters worldwide. www.alexandersonquilts.com
Firefighters are ready at a moment’s notice to jump into action, working to contain fires that range in size and location. When the alarm sounds, they answer the call, no matter the weather or time of day. From local volunteer firefighters to professional fire jumpers, they are trained to handle different types of fires, arriving at the front lines to drive the flames back and protect the community.
One spark can change things in an instant as it ignites into a blazing inferno. Watching reports of the wildfires in California, the power and speed was heart wrenching as winds carried the fires into populated areas and deep into forests. Pictures of walls of fire consuming everything in its path, leaving behind charred foundations and trees; exhausted crews taking a break until the next shift, resting wherever they could; communities supporting the crews with meals and a simple thank you. Firefighters move into the area, assessing wind speed and direction, planning how to fight what is around them. Battling with nature to contain the flames, working with their team to vanquish an angry inferno. Thank the firefighters who put their lives on the line every single day.
CALL TO ACTION
Or support your local fire station.
JUDI H. BASTION
Judi H. Bastion is a lifelong learner, pursuing her education and building her design, quilting, and photography skills. She first learned how to quilt from Marsha McCloskey in Seattle, Washington in 1985, first learning quilting basics, then developing her style. Her work has appeared in the National Quilt Museum (Paducah, KY), New England Quilt Museum (Lowell, MA), and Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (Golden, CO). Her work has been purchased by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Wrangler, and private individuals. Judi is a life member of Maine Quilts, past President of Gate City Quilt Guild, and member of PAQA-South and SAQA. She is now retired and works in her studio full time. She earned her B.S. in Theatre, with a minor in French and an M.A. in Arts Administration. She also has graduate certificates in K-12 Education, Paralegal Studies, and Healthcare Analytics.
NO RESPITE IN THE WILDLANDS
No Respite in the Wildlands is dedicated to the Wildlands Firefighters best known as Hotshots. These individuals combine a dedication to grueling physical training and exertion with personal risk and life-threatening exposure protecting our communities and wildlands. As a third generation Arizonian, the sacrifice that the Granite Mountain Hotshot group provided in 2013 defending the Yarnell Hill Fire, at the cost of 19 lives is a vivid and aching memory of just how much these individuals risk for the greater good of our communities.
CALL TO ACTION
This is a simple annual listing of the fatalities associated with wildland firefighting but it starkly points to the increased risk that these individuals face as part of their “day job.” As global warming and increased population spread adds fuel to this fire, we will continue to see a rise in the fatality count. What can each community do to help reduce the risk?
MARY BETH BELLAH
Mary Beth Bellah is an artist whose work continues to challenge the traditional understanding of what constitutes a quilt. Exhibiting widely in both national and international juried/invitational exhibits her work frequently involves a unique combination of cotton, wire, recycled elements and thread which may be free standing or wall mounted. Exhibits have included invited work at Ely Cathedral in Cambrigeshire, UK and Llangollen North Wales; Quilt National 2007 (OH) and Material’s Hard & Soft (TX). www.marybethbellah.com
ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT: BIOGEOGRAPHER *
The most famous scientist of his age, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an ecological visionary whose primary insight was that the earth is a single interconnected organism. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change.
Humboldt was an intrepid world explorer, and his name is still graces counties, towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains and several species of living beings. His discoveries of similarities between climate and vegetation zones on different continents was a radical vision of nature, and his best-selling publications changed science and thinking. Such men as Thomas Jefferson, Simon Bolivar, Charles Darwin, John Muir, Wordsworth and Goethe were influenced by this dazzling complex personality.
His declining renown among the public was probably due to three reasons: he was a generalist combining ecology, geography, and social science, where today’s scholarship tends toward specialization. Secondly, Humboldt’s style of writing in flowery prose fell out of fashion. And lastly, he probably suffered from a rising anti-German sentiment in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Humboldt deserves credit for recognizing that nature is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.
CALL TO ACTION
Since the age of 12 Loris has enjoyed creating with fabric. It started with sewing doll clothes and her own clothing, and when she made her first quilt block, she became hooked on quilting. Since then her work has become more artistic. She enjoys dyeing her own fabrics and recently has been looking for ways to combine her love of drawing and painting with her quilting. Her inspirations come from photography and from ideas that convey an emotion. www.lorisbogue.com
GRASS MADE IT POSSIBLE *
Agnes Chase was the world-wide expert on grass in the early 1900’s. She traveled the world, collected specimens and established an understanding of the environmental and economic impact of this important plant. She said, “Grass made it possible for the human race to abandon cave life and follow herds.” Chase began her career as a scientific illustrator but her skill, dedication and passion eventually provided her with opportunities to do extensive field work, collect and catalog thousands of specimens and mentor botanists around the world. Her work was used by the USDA, US military and Smithsonian Institution. She also shared her expertise with younger women botanists and was known as a kind, helpful and wise mentor. She was also dedicated to social causes including women’s suffrage.
I find her dedicated focus to observing and collecting quite inspiring. She was willing to go anywhere — including becoming the first woman to climb the highest mountain in South America — to learn more about her area of expertise. As I was studying Chase, I was emailing a friend about an unrelated visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Imagine my surprise when she emailed back that her great aunt, Agnes Chase, used to work there. This personal connection furthered my interest in understanding Chase’s work about how grass connects us to the earth — and how we are connected to each other.
CALL TO ACTION
Agnes Chase would certainly support the Association for Women in Science, a global network that inspires bold leadership, research, and solutions that advance women in STEM, spark innovation, promote organizational success and drive systemic change. www.awis.org
Deborah Boschert is an artist, author and teacher who creates art quilt collages layering fabric, paint and stitch. Her work often incorporates personal symbols, richly textured surfaces and unexpected compositions. She is especially interested in the active process of developing a unique creative voice. She is the author of Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch in addition to several magazine articles. Her work is exhibited in galleries and exhibitions and she lectures and teaches regularly throughout the United States. Deborah is currently the Vice President of Studio Art Quilt Associates. She lives in Lewisville, Texas. www.deborahsstudio.com
THE ADVOCATE *
An advocate is someone who fights for something or someone, especially someone who fights for the rights of others. Janaye Ingram is the definition of advocacy.
Justice, equity, women’s rights, and activism are not only words, they are ways of life. These are ideals that must be fought for and they have found their ultimate fighter, Janaye Ingram. Ingram has spent her career advocating for marginalized communities. She currently serves as the Director of National Partnerships for Airbnb, a home sharing platform that connects travelers with unique homes and experiences around the world while creating economic and entrepreneurship opportunities for hosts and communities. Ingram also served as the Head of Logistics and a National Organizer with the Women’s March on Washington in addition to being a co-founder and board member of Women’s March, Inc. Prior to her role at Airbnb, Ingram was the National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN), where she advocated for change, attending high level meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill.
Janaye has become a recognized voice on politics and activism and continues to be an advocate for justice, economic empowerment, civil rights, women’s empowerment, education, gender equity, democracy and equality.
CALL TO ACTION
Earamichia “Encyclopedia” Brown’s love of fiber arts and all things craft began as a child. Earamichia’s family had a set of the World Book Encyclopedia series and the Childcraft – The How and Why Library. Within that Childcraft series there was a volume called “Make and Do,” of which she did plenty. Earamichia wanted to become a fashion designer, but settled for plan B. Earamichia’s love of crafts and fiber continued to flourish throughout the years. She became an avid knitter and in 2000, was introduced to quilting. Earamichia finds inspiration in her love of nature, family, friends and history. www.cocktailsandthread.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Janaye Ingram
Yayoi Kusama is an artist who works in sculpture, painting, performance, poetry, fiction, film, and fashion. She is also the biggest selling female artist in the world right now, at age 90. As a child in Japan, Kusama experienced hallucinations which prompted her love of polka-dots and other imagery that appears in her work. She survived suicide attempts, as her desire to create was always stronger than her desire to die. Having survived childhood, she came to the U.S. in the 50s only to see her concepts brazenly stolen by her male peers in the art world. Dealers refused to show female artists. Although Kusama won praise, success eluded her. She returned, broken, to Japan, where she checked herself into a mental hospital. Doctors allowed her to use art therapy to confront her demons. Kusama has lived there for over 40 years and continues to do so to this day. She re-established herself as an artist, and eventually began to gain the respect and support of her work. In her awe-inspiring exhibits, in her ability to overcome her demons to make art and persevere in the face of doubt and uncertainty, Yayoi Kusama is the epitome of “hero” to me.
CALL TO ACTION
As a Japanese citizen Yayoi Kusama is able to channel her artwork into her mental health healing and expression. In our country there is a constant need for solutions to the mental health issues of our citizens. As a person with a family member with mental health issues, I know first hand the importance of this topic. The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations, who deliver mental health and addiction treatment services to Americans in need. Consider getting involved and/or
donating to this very important cause. www.thenationalcouncil.org/about/national-mental-health-association/
Sandra Bruce is a quilt artist with a background as a commercial illustrator and letterer. Her technique, “Material Matrix,” involves using a grid over a photo or illustration and interpreting each square with fabric, sometimes involving up to 14 pieces in one 2-inch square. Portraits are her specialty. She free-motion quilts her artwork on a longarm machine, freely representing shapes and images and sometimes adding words into the quilting. She teaches her technique nationally and internationally. www.sandrabruce.com
Found Within expresses the ability to find a hero: someone to admire, someone who makes a tough decision in the face of fear and thereby discovers the ability to rise above what he or she thinks is possible. The potential for this transcendence resides in each of us. What holds us back is not a lack of motivation, but rather the difficulty of facing our fears. Heroism comes not only in the form of the magnificent, but also in the small decisions made on a daily basis. Quite often we don’t see the face of courage within ourselves until we look more closely, gaze more deeply, and recognize our own latent abilities. And sometimes it’s the crackle of energy that tells us we did well.
Erika Carter is an award-winning art quilter whose evocative wall quilts have been exhibited throughout the United States and in Sweden, Germany and England. Her quilts have been seen in numerous “Quilt Nationals” and “Visions” exhibitions. Among her many honors and awards are an Award of Merit at the 1995 Quilt National, and 2002 and 1991 Artist Trust GAP (grants for artist projects) awards. She is the author of a book about her art, Erika Carter: Personal Imagery in Art Quilts (Fiber Studio Press, 1996), and her work has been reproduced and written about in books and magazines including Art Quilt Magazine, American Craft, and the Surface Design Journal. It is also included in many collections, including those of The Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Carter lives in Renton, Washington. www.erikagcarter.weebly.com
THE OPULENT INJUSTICE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER *
If you wanted something done during the Civil Rights Movement in America during the 1960’s Fannie Lou Hamer was by her own design a go-to person for action. She was a target for white supremacists and the police while she worked to get African Americans registered to vote. She did not let the threats of death, harassment, or violence deter her. She worked in programs like the Freedom Farm cooperative. She ran without success for both the Mississippi and U.S. Senate. She died in 1977.
CALL TO ACTION
When I was a kid living in Hallsboro, NC, my family and I sat around a small black and white television watching images from the turbulent Civil Rights Movement. We saw news of the murders of John F. Kennedy his brother Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. I didn't know it at the time but those dreadful days would mark a new era in American History. During the struggle everyday people like Fannie Lou Hamer worked with all of their might to stand up to the oppression of racism for the good of all black people. She was the twentieth child born to share croppers in Mississippi in October of 1912. She went from the cotton fields to a national platform passionately depicting the horrors and long suffering of black people from slavery to revolution. I am a cheerleader for Fannie Lou Hamer and everyone named and unnamed who stood up and fought. My quilt tribute is to her unshakable devotion to black people.
It is painful to know that the fight for justice and freedom that started with the first enslaved person who stepped off of slave ships to become bound as chattel is as real today as it was four hundred years ago. My charge to all who look at my artwork here is to rethink how black people are treated in the world. We are not chattel. We are not slovenly. We are not the n-word. We are human. We want JUSTICE. Treat us as equals in the human family.
Kimberley’s first quilt was made in 2006 from scraps she found at a local reuse store. She made the quilt at the urging of a friend who was a part of the African American Quilt Circle of Durham, North Carolina. As fate would have it, her quilt was featured in Quilt Mania magazine along with other in the group. Kimberley has taught her style of making small vibrant quilts to quilt guilds and at the National Association of African American Quilters (2018). Kimberley is one of the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist scholarship grant recipients for 2019 sponsored by the Durham Arts Council.
WOMEN MAKE HISTORY
Last year (2018), I became aware of a large number of women who decided to run for Congress. I began following many of their campaigns and finding out their stories. There were mothers. There were Native Americans, Muslims, African Americans and Hispanics. One was the mother of a young black man, murdered in a parking lot for playing music too loud. One was 78 years old — almost my age – and one was the youngest ever elected at age 29. I was so excited when a record number of women were elected. On January 3, 117 women who were elected or appointed to Congress were sworn in. They help to make up the most ethnically and racially diverse Congress in history.
To create this art quilt, I wanted to include 117 images to represent these women. I decided to use the standard female symbol in a variety of colors, to represent the diversity. They are processing into the Capitol.
I feel strongly that more women in Congress can only make our world better.
CALL TO ACTION
If you want to see more women elected to office, first and foremost, always vote in elections, local and national. Get involved in local politics. Support women who step up to run for office. Consider running for office. Many women get their start by running for the local school board or town council. Here are 6 organizations supporting women running for office::
Emily’s List: www.emilyslist.org
She Should Run: www.sheshouldrun.org
National Women’s Political Caucus: www.nwpc.org
Women’s Campaign Fund: www.wcfonline.org
Running Start: www.runningstart.org
Gerrie Congdon is an artist who works with textiles. She transforms white fabric into complex cloth, using dyes and paints and a variety of techniques. The resulting fabric becomes serene landscapes and abstract compositions. Her work has been exhibited in many venues, nationally and internationally, and she is one of the authors of Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge. She is a member of Columbia FiberArts Guild, High Fiber Diet, Studio Art Quilt Associates and the Surface Design Association. She is currently a co-rep for the Oregon SAQA region. www.gericondesigns.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Kayley Hoddick
MY INNER CARL SAGAN *
"We are made of Star Stuff.” Carl Sagan was a brilliant astro-physicist, who inspires me. He was a professor of astronomy at Cornell, wrote several books such as “Broca’s Brain,” and had a television series “Cosmos.” He had many eloquent, insightful things to say about the universe, our solar system, our planet, and mankind. “We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
He died in 1996, so how is he relevant today? For one thing, he inspired many people to become scientists who are now, among other things, exploring Mars, landing on asteroids and measuring the effects of climate change on Earth. Also, the Carl Sagan Institute was founded to find life in the universe, which helps us understand our own planet better. In addition, even non-scientists like myself have been inspired by his words, which we have internalized. We thirst for more knowledge about our world and its surroundings, and we aspire to be better citizens of the planet Earth, “to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."
CALL TO ACTION
Cindy Cooksey is a lifelong artist and craftsman and has been making quilts since 1989. Her quilts have been shown in numerous venues internationally and in this country, including Quilt Expos in Lyon, Innsbruck and Barcelona, La Muse des Tissus in Lyon, France, and at Quilt Visions in 2002 at the Oceanside Museum of Art. Cindy’s quilts have also been shown at several International Quilt Festivals in Houston, Long Beach and Chicago, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Her quilts have been published in Quilters Newsletter, Quilting Arts Magazine and Lark art quilt publications. www.cookseyville.blogspot.com
LUTHER BURBANK *
If you like to eat or putter around the garden you may well have Luther Burbank to thank. An American Botanist, known as the “Plant Wizard” he developed more than 800 varieties of plants in his career many of which are still widely grown today. My quilt depicts just a few of the many he brought us including the July Elberta Peach, Shasta Daisy, Fire Poppy, Santa Rosa Plum, Formosa Plum, Sweet Plumcot and his most famous, the Burbank Russet Potato. His Russet was a direct response to the Irish potato famine, developed for extreme disease resistance. That potato, now the most widely grown in the United States, is used for many of our favorite French fries.
Burbank worked to secure patent rights so that plant breeders would be able to profit from their developments leading to greater diversity in the garden. Burbank believed in the power of plants to care for the body and the soul and developed fruits, vegetables, grasses, grains and flowers including 500 hybrid Roses. Burbank loved humanity and worked joyfully in partnership with nature for the benefit of us all. His legacy continues at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa, California.
CALL FOR ACTION
Communities need gardens more than ever and our plant diversity needs to be protected. Please support your local Botanical Garden or give to the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens. www.lutherburbank.org
Lauretta Crites has a degree in Costume Design and has been privileged to create costumes for stage and screen in Los Angeles as well as traveling to work on productions in the most celebrated theaters in the world. Her love of art, textiles and costume found the perfect marriage in art quilting a passion which has taken over her life and studio. Lauretta’s quilts have appeared in Quilters Newsletter, IQA Journal, Quilting Arts and have won awards at IQA Houston, Road to California, PIQF and more. Lauretta travels the country teaching surface design and speaking about the happiness of quilting. www.LaurettaCrites.com
MY FRIEND MARK
Many know Mark is a most colorful quilting personality who inspires his “cupcake” nation. He sought out untapped creative talent for inclusion in his internationally distributed magazine, Mark Lipinski’s Quilters Home Magazine. He was a successful television producer. I chose Mark as my hero because I am fortunate to see beneath the public layers. I see his kindness, sense of humor and generosity but also Mark’s humility. Before we met, he led a trailblazing life in his days living in California. He was a social justice warrior who worked tirelessly with at risk youth at the Adolescent Day Treatment Center and halfway houses in San Francisco. He swam with the first LGBT water polo team in the country and made a mark by winning a silver medal in the International Gay Games 2. I admire his journey of adoption overseas. I witnessed his strength in his battle with kidney disease. He had major surgery to remove his kidneys this past winter yet through it all he continued to inspire by sharing ideas, support and thoughts with his legions of followers. A hero is someone who gives selflessly. That’s my friend Mark. Next up: A search for a new kidney donor.
CALL TO ACTION
LINDA LUM DeBONO
Linda Lum DeBono is an author and designer in the crafting industry. She has written books for Martingale & Co. and Leisure Arts in the area of quilting, sewing, knitting and scrapbooking. Her designs have appeared in American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilters Home, Quilts & More, and Quilter’s Newsletter. Linda has designed for Henry Glass & Co. and has held positions in the areas of social media and marketing in the textile industry. She recently co-founded a new design house, Alex & Shirley. It is a fashion brand for kids, inspired by her boys Adam and Alex. www.lindalumdebono.com
THROUGH HER VOICE *
Nina Simone was a genre-defying musician, combining jazz, folk, classical piano and blues. Most of all, Nina Simone was a Civil Rights Activist, encouraging social change and amplifying the voice of black people and black women in particular. In 1963, the murder of activist Medgar Evers and the bombing of a Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four young black girls enraged Nina. Her song, “Mississippi Goddam” flowed out of her in a rush of fury and determination. Writing this music was “like throwing ten bullets back at them.” From that point, civil rights messages appeared in her recordings and at her concerts.
In 1965, she performed at the protest marches from Selma to Montgomery with civil rights anthems such as “Mississippi Goddamn” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” Her music addressed racial inequality in the United States. “All I want is equality for my sister, my brother, my people and me."
Influenced by the nostalgia of old film, Maggie captures candid moments from the 1930’s to the 1950’s in her textile work. Particularly choosing images that appear photo-journalistic, her work celebrates an unawareness of the camera that is simultaneously ordinary and meaningful. It evokes a wistfulness, a feeling of nostalgic happiness, but also loss of something deeply important and soulful. There’s no showing off, just pure moments… in the moment. Maggie Dillon is a textile portrait collage artist from Sarasota, Florida. Maggie’s artwork is often a response to nature, life stories and experiences, resulting in a varied collection of Quilts and Art Cloth. In her most recent work she has been drawn to issues of social justice or the lack thereof, and calling attention to the gross imbalances in power and privilege in our country. Maggie’s been quilting, dyeing, painting and teaching about fabric for over 20 years. www.MaggieDillonDesigns.com
GRANDMOTHER WORE WHITE SHOES *
What do we owe to grandmothers? Maybe more than you realize. There is a theory called “The Grandmother Effect” that states Grandmothers have a definite beneficial effect on the reproductive success of her children and survival of her grandchildren. This effect has a direct positive link to human survival and longevity. Note that there is no corresponding “Grandfather Effect".
While my Grandmother was not the “warm and cuddly, bake cookies” type, she taught me to not be a victim of circumstances, to be fiercely independent, and to be creative with whatever resources available.
She survived the depression, two World Wars, a miscarriage and being widowed with young teen-aged children. Throughout it all, she lived artistically, and she wore great shoes.
CALL TO ACTION
Grandmothers, acknowledge your unique importance in the lives of your family. Not a grandmother? Consider joining a group such as The Creativity Shell (www.creativityshell.org) to impart your unique “Grandmother Effect.”
Suzan’s art is a collaboration of photography, digital painting and manipulation, and contemporary art quilting. Often, she starts with an original photograph that is manipulated or serves as inspiration for painting using computer software and a digital drawing tablet. In either case, the resulting digital image is printed onto cotton fabric and heavily quilted with variegated threads on her home sewing machine. Adding the texture of stitches to a piece enhances the luminosity, detail, and depth but is also immensely enjoyable for Suzan. Stitching on a piece of fabric is like meditation and a peaceful part of her day. www.suzanengler.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Great Grandfather James Whisenant
I worked as a nurse for 25 years and I know a lot of amazing nurses, who save people’s lives every day and never think twice about that. They carry a heavy weight of duty and responsibility. They also get to make a difference in many peoples lives and that makes the work rewarding. Our world is a better place because of nurses and they deserve our recognition!
ANNE SCHWARTZ HAMMOND
Anne Schwartz Hammond creates abstract quilts. She likes to use geometric line and shape to make her unique art works. Most of her fabrics are hand dyed and her works are machine pieced and long arm quilted. Anne was a nurse for 25 years but is now a full time quilter. Among quilting highlights, Anne was accepted into 2019 Quilt National. www.brokenladderquilt.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Gulzian
GENTLE GIANT, NUBIAN GIRAFFE CALF
Imagine the African plains without the “gentle giant", an iconic symbol of Africa. The giraffe. It is now ranked in the ‘vulnerable’ classification for Threatened Species. Its numbers have dropped off 30% in the last 40 years from a population of 155,00 to 111,00 today. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation was founded by Julian Fennessy and his wife Stephanie, both now co-directors. It is the only NGO in the world solely working on the conservation and management of giraffe populations in Africa. It is their dedication to this species and their management of local partner organizations that will support a sustainable future for the giraffe. Giraffes are not bound by country borders. This organization works with and educates the people who share living spaces with the giraffe populations. Instilling a way of life that embraces protection and preservation principles. This science-based organization provides innovative approaches to saving the giraffes. This includes tracking, monitoring and relocating populations to rebalance their natural habitats. They are involved in 15 different giraffe conservation projects in 15 African countries. By supporting GCF we will facilitate in the survival of the “gentle giant” on the African Plains.
CALL TO ACTION
Jane Haworth is a British born quilt artist and teacher living in Auburn, California. She has been sewing and crafting all her life and has been making fabric collage for over 15 years and is inspired by photos from nature. Her most recent work featuring pet portraits can be seen on Quilting Arts TV, Quilting Arts magazine and was used as the cover art. She is a member of Artistic Alchemy, a small group of creatives who host an annual textile retreat at Lake Tahoe, and can be found teaching workshops at IQF Houston, and Craft Napa. www.janehaworth.com
EL PUENTE SPEAKS FOR THE PEOPLE
El Puente is a community group of activist, artist and educators. They have been in Williamsburg Brooklyn for over 30 years. Among some of the programs they have are free after-school programs and free summer camp. They have fought for fair housing, environmental issues, immigration issues and have supported local artists. The founding members Luis Garden Acosta, Francis Lucerna and Gino Maldonado all grew up and continue to live in our community. They are all an inspiration to our community.
CALL TO ACTION
El Puente is a community group that helps with education, arts and climate issues. Please visit their website to see how you can help. www.elpuente.us
Sylvia is a self-taught quilter, She grew in Brooklyn NY and still lives there. She is the President of the Quilters of Color NYC and CoPresident of The Brooklyn Quilters Guild. She is community activist and she creates art quilts that tell stories of current events. Sylvia is a community artist and has worked with El Puente for the last 10 years. El Puente is a community of activists in Williamsburg Brooklyn and Puerto Rico.
YELLOW BIRD WOMAN *
Land is the foundation of Native ways of being. It is a relative. It is where language emerges from. It holds our ancestors. Indigenous Peoples worldwide have fought to retain their rights to the land. In the 1880s the U.S. federal government, via the Dawes Act, put Native land into “trust status.” In essence, Natives did not own the land, but they could earn money from the land through resource extraction such as grazing leases, oil drilling, and mining, as well as other types of businesses. However, the government had deemed Natives incapable of keeping track of their earnings and promised to manage the funds for each individual. But the money was never accurately accounted for. The federal government had few records associated with collecting the money, interest earned, or dispersals.
Over one hundred years later, Elouise Cobell (Blackfoot) – Yellow Bird Woman, began to question where that money was – she wanted elders to have access to those funds before they passed on. She initiated a class action lawsuit that lasted fifteen years. Her efforts eventually yielded a $3.4 billion settlement in 2010 for all Indian Peoples who had not received their full trust monies. It was a small fraction of what had been collected over the years. The settlement was distributed to individuals and tribal nations. A scholarship was also established to help support Native college students.
Elouise passed away from her battle with cancer in 2011. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2016.
CALL TO ACTION
To learn more about the treachery associated with the Dawes Act read Janet McDonnell’s The Dispossession of the American Indian. For more information on the Cobell settlement go to www.cobellsettlement.com/index. To learn about the Cobell Scholarship see www.cobellscholar.org. To donate to higher education opportunities for Native students see the American Indian College Fund at www.collegefund.org. To contribute to Native land return efforts see Indian Land Tenure Fund at www.iltf.org
FRANCES KAY HOLMES
Frances Kay Holmes (Mvskoke Creek ancestry) is an assistant professor in the Indigenous Liberal Studies department at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Kay uses fabric as method to share the issues & circumstances that contemporary Indigenous Peoples share.
At the end of the Revolutionary War, General Washington stood alone at the pinnacle of power, but never became drunk with that influence, as had so many generals before him, and treated his commission as a public trust to be returned as soon as possible to the people’s representatives. Washington craved privacy, not political power. He had weathered more than eight years of war partly because as a planter he was accustomed to a rugged outdoor life.
Washington served as commander-in-chief for 8 ½ years; his military triumphs had been neither frequent nor epic in scale. He lost more battles than he won, had botched several through strategic blunders, and won Yorktown with the indispensable aid of the French army and fleet. However, his fortitude in keeping the impoverished Continental Army intact was a major historic accomplishment. It always stood on the brink of dissolution, and it was Washington who kept it together. He had been resilient in the face of every setback, courageous in the face of every danger. Washington was that rare general who was great between battles and not just during them. (All paraphrased from Chernow’s biography, Washington.)
Cathie taught throughout the U.S. in 34 years as a quilt instructor, including: Road to California; Pacific International Quilt Fest; American Quilters’ Society; International Quilt Festival, Houston and Long Beach, CA; National Quilting Association in Charlotte, NC; Georgia State Quilt Council, Atlanta, GA. She is proudest of the “Best Traditional Technique” award from NQA judge, Genie Barnes, at Schweinfurth, NY. Cathie’s work was published in Quilting Arts magazine; American Quilter magazine; and Magic Patch – a UK quilting magazine. She designed wearable ensembles for the Fairfield Fashion Show and the Bernina Fashion Show. She is a 3rd generation Californian. www.cathiehooverstudios.com
Peggy Oki is an American skateboarder and surfer native to Southern California. Back in the 70s she and her team used their notoriety from the Zephyr Competition Team (AKA Z-Boys) to begin the grass roots movement to save the whales. She is the creator and CEO of the Origami Whale Project that teaches children the importance of conservation today. Peggy was a noted speaker at TED. She was inducted into the Skateboarders Hall of Fame in 2012; she was featured in the movie “Dogtown and Zboys” narrated by Sean Penn. She still surfs every day and continues to use her art to create what she likes to call The Cetacean Nation.
CALL TO ACTION
Stacy Hurt is an award-winning artist living and working in the city of Orange, CA. Her quilts have shown internationally as well as being featured in print publications. www.stacyhurt.com
BUILD … MAKE A DIFFERENCE *
There are many people in this world who do not have a safe and decent home. Fortunately, there are many organizations with the skills and the desire to help build good homes for those who are in need. These organizations rely heavily on volunteers who bring skills and a willingness to learn new ones to each project.
Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and author, is a man on a mission to make the world a better place. In 1984 after volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity project, he and his wife, Rosalyn, created the Carter Work Project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The Carters have become tireless advocates, active fundraisers, and enthusiastic construction volunteers. They have joined more than 100,000 volunteers to help build more than 4,300 homes in 14 countries.
Habitat for Humanity is international and just one organization that is doing this good and vital work. There are many more community-based organizations that are always recruiting talented volunteers. Help make this a better world. Volunteer. Build. Make a difference.
CALL TO ACTION
Barb Ingersoll has been making art since childhood. She works in a large variety of media but textiles have been at the heart of most of her art pieces. Besides textiles, her pieces may include paint, paper, vintage photographs, encaustics and ephemera. Her inspiration comes from unexpected places, nature, or just a moment in time. Barb works out of her home studio in North Carolina and teaches occasional fiber arts and surface design classes. Her work has been published, exhibited in the United States, and is in private collections.
ARETHA FRANKLIN *
From her time growing up in the home of a prominent African American preacher to the end of her life, Franklin was immersed and involved in the struggle for civil rights and women’s rights. She provided money for civil rights groups, even covering payroll, and performed at benefits and protests. When Angela Davis was jailed in 1970, Franklin told Jet, “Angela Davis must go free…. Black people will be free. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts,… because she’s a Black woman fighting for freedom for Black People.”
CALL TO ACTION
Lola Jenkins has brought a unique vision through her incredible art quilts. Her quilts display the joy and freedom of pursuing her passion. The mystique of this African-American woman is that she is just started sewing in 2004. Without any background in sewing, art, perspective, or drawing, she developed her passion. Through her courage and fearless approach in creating art quilts she has evolved to master-quilter status. Lola states, “I don’t know the rules, so I couldn’t break the rules of quilting.” Lola has won Best of Show, Judges Choice, Best Use of Color, and numerous first, and second place ribbons in Quilt Shows across the United States. She has been the featured artist in more than100 venues. She now travels across the United States and overseas giving truck shows and teaching to the masses. www.lolasdesignerquilts.net
A TRANSFORMATIONAL LIFE *
In 1963, Marna Williams, mother of four, heard about the deaths of four little girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, and knew she had to do something. She joined women from her Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Church, and the Greater Birmingham Ministry to form The Mustard Seed, a project that offered 28 programs to help the segregated black neighborhood nearby, providing tutoring, food, sports, social experiences, and lessons in life skills. The Mustard Seed community was united in love. However, their actions created conflict with Marna’s family, who believed their actions threatened life as they knew it. Marna stood for what was right and helped those less fortunate. The Mustard Seed transformed not only the Southtown community but Marna herself. By the age of 46, she was a widowed mother of five. To support her children, Marna earned her doctorate in Psychology and established a counseling practice. She remarried at 73. Their home was “a sanctuary where love abides.” Sanctuary describes Marna well, a place of refuge and safety. She was certainly that for her five children and the residents of Southtown. She continues to be “the spirit” of the community where she lives. She not only makes it a better world; she transforms it.
CALL TO ACTION
It is critical now to take action to preserve the rights of all people! Get involved with your local school to mentor a child. There are kids who need tutoring or a lunch buddy. Spend time building relationships with them. You can transform a life.
Susanne Miller Jones is an internationally exhibited, award-winning fiber artist, curator, author, and teacher. She is the curator of Fly Me to the Moon: An Art Quilt Journey, HERstory Quilts: A Celebration of Strong Women, and OURstory Quilts: Human Rights Stories in Fabric, and author of the books by the same names about the collections. Susanne serves on the Sacred Threads committee and is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates. She enjoys traveling with her husband, Todd who is a textile photographer. Susanne has a daughter and a son and a brand new grandson. www.susannemjones.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Todd Jones
I AM A DIVISIVE ISSUE *
At age 27, my daughter found her true self as a transgender woman. This has made her appearance and life one that many people feel free to comment on and judge. While she tries to live a private and normal life, she has to be constantly vigilant of people and of her surroundings. This requires bravery, humor, patience, confidence, compassion, or some combination thereof; she answers personal questions and ignores stares, as she just tries to do what we all take for granted.
She has found some people are supportive, and many try to understand, but there are those who don’t even know her, but will judge her to be divisive at best, or unacceptable at worst and are very open about it. I am in awe of her ability to negotiate through this barrage of judgment with grace – trying to reassure and educate others as she proceeds gracefully on her way.
CALL TO ACTION
Each year, Equality Virginia holds an educational resource day for transgender men and women and the general public. They support lobbyists, legislation and educational opportunities for all. www.equalityvirginia.org
Jill Kerttula is a full-time fiber artist, coming to this art form from a background in painting, printmaking and graphic design. Her studio is open to the public and is located in the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. Kerttula has had many solo shows at venues including The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO; The International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX; The Page Walker House in Cary, NC; and The McGuffey Art Center. She was also in the 2019 Quilt National. www.jillkerttula.com
THE LIGHT KEEPERS *
Carolina Nuñez is a Venezuelan immigrant and a law professor at Brigham Young University. In 2018 she traveled to the immigration detention center in Dilley Texas and spent time working with the asylum seekers there, listening to their stories and helping them prepare for credible fear interviews. The burdens of rape, murder, and violence, were carried by these migrants along with their children on walking journeys none of us can imagine. The hopeless situations they had escaped, only to be incarcerated and treated as animals once they made it to the “Land of the Free” have inspired a flood of attorneys and other volunteers to give freely of their time, trying their best to aid these suffering men, women and children.
Because of a cruel policy restricting numbers of applicants at legal entry points, thousands of migrants have felt they had no choice but to try a desert crossing, and they have died. Children have been brutally ripped from the arms of their loved ones and kept in unspeakable conditions. The press is not allowed in. Lawyers have been some of the only witnesses to the atrocious treatment these vulnerable people have suffered. Thank you to attorneys Martin Garbus, Kyle Knapp, Carolina Nuñez, Marty Rosenbluth, Emily Strongwater and Warren Binford, and volunteer Catherine Powers for sharing the stories and humanizing these desperate people.
CALL TO ACTION
www.raicestexas.org is an organization that funds the work immigration lawyers are doing in detention centers in Texas. You can donate to help them help more asylum seekers. You can also pressure your federal officials to fix our broken immigration system in a compassionate and equitable way. We must not be complicit by being complacent.
LYRIC MONTGOMERY KINARD
Lyric Montgomery Kinard is an award winning artist with a passion for sparking creativity in others. As an artist, author, and educator she transforms cloth into art in her studio and timid spirits into confident creatives in the classroom. Lyric was recognized for her talents as the 2011 International Association of Professional Quilters Teacher of the Year and is the author of the book Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises. She has written extensively for Quilting Arts Magazine, appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and The Quilt Show. www.LyricKinard.com
DEAR SALVATION ARMY: A THANK YOU!
The Christmas Bell Ringers are reminders of the Salvation Army’s yearlong commitment to helping those in need. Since 1865 their outreach has made the world a better place. They are evangelists spreading the word of God. In addition, part of their Christian ministry mission is to help those in need without discrimination around the world (now in 130 countries).
I created Dear Salvation Army: A Thank You! because of my 93 year old mother-in-law’s life long relationship with the Salvation Army which first began when she was a child (1 of 9) with Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrant parents. Her father made a meager living selling apples and collecting junk. As part of Salvation Army’s outreach to the poor, Clara and her siblings received much needed food, clothing, and shoes.
When she retired in her 80s she returned full circle to the Salvation Army wanting to give back, remembering her childhood experiences. She did volunteer office work when they needed help and helped produce the annual Christmas shopping event that provided clothes and shoes for children in need. She knows firsthand that the Salvation Army makes a better world.
CALL TO ACTION
How can YOU help the Salvation Army to make a better world?? Your donations of money and material will make a difference. You can donate all year, not just at Christmas! www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn
Fabrics + Paint + Photography + Stitch = Textile Art. Sherry Kleinman is a story teller who creates textile art using a varied “box of tools.” She uses all kinds of fabrics, cottons to window screen and everything in between. Sometimes she uses machine applique and piecing techniques; other times she pulls out her pencils and paints or uses her photographs to create images on fabric. Hand or machine stitches hold it all together. www.sherrykleinman.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kleinman
NET OF WONDER *
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) was an explorer and environmentalist passionate about the sea and everything that swam or crawled in it. He helped develop the first scuba equipment, which enabled researchers to more closely study underwater environs. Cousteau warned us about the dangers of coastal development, pollution, exploitation, and over-fishing. His life was one of extraordinary passion and purpose. “The sea,” Cousteau said, “once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
As a child, I loved watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” a TV show that aired in the U.S. from 1966 to 1976. In the Calypso, a former French naval vessel, and in his little yellow submarine, Cousteau took me to places I will never be able to visit. He opened my eyes to the diversity and splendor of the ocean, and the need to protect it.
CALL TO ACTION
Oceana is an international group of scientists, economists, advocates and lawyers working to protect the oceans through environmental protection and conservation. www.oceana.org
SUSAN BRUBAKER KNAPP
Susan Brubaker Knapp is a fiber artist, author, teacher, and host of “Quilting Arts TV” on PBS. She often employs fabric paints and inks to transform the cloth used in her work. Nearly all of it is realistic in style, and starts with her original photographs. She uses three primary techniques: wholecloth painting, fused appliqué, and free-motion thread sketching to add intricacy and detail. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, she now lives near Charlotte, NC. www.bluemoonriver.com
I was staying at a hotel in Nebraska, on an upper level floor. I called for the elevator, and when the door opened, there she was. A housekeeper with her vacuum. She was magnificent!! She wore a beautiful scarf around her hair. I excitedly asked if I could snap a couple of photos, explaining that I am an artist. She smiled shyly and agreed.
I appreciate service people, who often do jobs that I don’t want to do. I enjoy seeing folks who make the best of their job, even though it is considered a low level position. The custodian who sings as he sweeps the school hallway. The garbage pickup guy who hops off and on the truck to empty our trash. The waitress who patiently and efficiently takes orders, brings heavy trays of food and drinks, and clears it all away. The hairdresser who massages my head in the shampoo bowl, and takes care of my hair maintenance needs while on her feet all day. The gardener who pulls weeds, trims and mows in 90 degree heat. These are my heroes. I let them know that I appreciate their valuable contributions to my comfortable life.
CALL TO ACTION
Tip well. Help make their job easier by your actions. Show your appreciation.
A great day for me is one in which I can play with my collection of thrift store shirts, skirts, pants and dresses, cutting the fabrics and arranging scenes onto batting for a new art quilt. My art quilts reflect my delight in pattern, contrast and variety. I enjoy raw edge hand appliqué, collaged pieces made with repurposed fabrics. I am fascinated by human figures and faces. Many of my quilts tell personal stories of family and experiences. As a retired art teacher, I am thrilled to commit time to exploring my own art expressions. www.kquilt.com
FAIRY GRANDMOTHER *
A fairy grandmother is like a magical fairy godmother, but instead of helping imaginary children, she helps real children. She steps in and takes them away from the screaming and chaos -- and cares for them. She gives them structure, kindness, clean clothes, balanced meals, and gets them to school on time. Everyday. Approximately 2.7 million grandparents in the United States are raising their own grandchildren. The reasons are many: death, deployment, mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration. My hero is my own mother-in-law, who helped raise our four young nephews. I’m so glad they had a fairy grandmother.
Other children do not have a family support system. In many states, such as North Carolina, there are twice as many children needing foster care as homes that can provide it. The number is growing. Please consider how you can help these kids. If you know a fairy grandmother, offer to bring a meal, take the kids to a movie, or get a group together to provide for birthdays or school supplies. Tutor at your local school. Consider becoming a respite care provider or foster parent yourself.
CALL TO ACTION
Resources, including government benefits available to grandparents raising grandchildren, can be found at www.grandfamilies.org, www.aarp.org/quicklink, and www.benefits.gov. For information on becoming a respite care provider or foster parent, please check the state website for your particular state.
Jana Lankford is a studio artist especially interested in nature and organic forms, and also in the use of mathematics to understand our world. Her work reflects a longing to winsomely honor the Creator of both. Jana is past president of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South, helping to organize four international juried art quilt exhibits. Her work has been exhibited at Page-Walker Arts and History Center, Durham Arts Council, Southeastern Community College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte, and the Ontario National Juried Show. Jana lives 600 feet from the Appalachian Trail and has an M.S. in Computer Science.
WE HAD A DREAM: EQUALITY *
Thousands of African Americans anonymously built much of the South. These unsung heroes toiled at first in slavery and later in an economically unjust system. Their architectural contributions include The White House, Monticello, Mount Vernon, dozens of Southern plantation houses, and the University of South Carolina’s Horseshoe, the oldest part of the campus, which is one mile from my home.
In the 20th century, skilled African American workers did not enjoy compensation equal to their white counterpoints. They installed water fountains at which they were not allowed to drink, cleaned hotel rooms in which they couldn’t stay, and raised other people’s children who went to better schools than their own. Women of color rarely were paid adequately. Today many institutions struggle with decisions regarding Confederate-era monuments and are seeking ways to acknowledge the significant roles of anonymous slave laborers and their descendants. This is an era trying to overcome the injustices of Jim Crow segregation laws. This art quilt pays homage to those who lived in hope that their work would one day bring about this better world. To dream of equality is the American Dream. To dream in the face of adversity is to be a hero.
CALL TO ACTION
The American Dream is a promise that regardless of race, roots, economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity, if you work hard and take responsibility, you can make your dream real. But the truth is, the dream is exponentially harder to achieve without access to a solid education, without the proper food to nourish you, without the basic medical care to keep healthy and strong, without a safe, happy place to call home … without hope. The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation believes that every dream begins with hope. It partners with organizations that empower, educate, nurture, nourish, and create opportunities in which people change their lives forever. Supporting the organizations funded by this foundation is an active way to help make dreams come true. Please visit the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation for positive change. www.tbrpf.org/our-focus/american-dream/
As a fiber and installation artist, Susan Lenz uses a multi-disciplinary approach to express her feminist viewpoint and desire to leave a lasting legacy through fine craft explorations. Susan’s works have appeared in national publications, juried exhibitions, and in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Craft Shows. She has been featured on two art quilting television programs, South Carolina educational channel, and in international, invitational opportunities. Her solo installations have been mounted all over the country. www.susanlenz.com
Shari Lewis was born in 1933 as Phyllis Naomi Hurwitz in New York City. She was an actress, puppeteer, ventriloquist, an orchestra conductor, performer, producer, author, and advocate for wholesome children’s TV programming.
Shari brought to life her positive message and the need of regulation for children’s programs through her puppet characters Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. Over the years she had a variety of children’s TV shows, earning many Emmy awards, and a variety of other kudos. She pioneered the importance of participation in children’s TV programming, often introducing opportunities for the children watching to take part in and to become part of the show.
Shari testified in Congressional hearings regarding the Children’s Television Act and the strong need for regulations regarding children’s TV programs. She was often asked to perform at the White House for children’s parties.
In 1998, Shari passed away, leaving a legacy of excellent children’s programming, videos and books through the actions of her puppets and the kindness of her heart.
CALL TO ACTION
Support your local public broadcasting station.
SHERRI LIPMAN McCAULEY
Sherri Lipman McCauley brings improvisation to the creation of her artwork. McCauley is educated as a teacher, trained as a programmer, and has emerged as an artist, creating spontaneous fiber designs. McCauley enjoys working extemporaneously and in the abstract. She typically works in the moment, with paints and dyes on fabric. The simple line of a geometric shape, the blast of a colorful line, or the contrast of black against white makes her canvas sing. McCauley likes to color outside the lines. The serendipity of the paint landing on the fabric dictates the direction of her design. www.SherriLipmanMcCauley.blogspot.com
Malala was born in Pakistan to parents who valued education. Her father ran a school for girls that was shut down when the Taliban took over her town in 2008. Undaunted, Malala attended school with her brothers until a masked gunman boarded her school bus in 2012. His goal was to shoot and kill her for the offense of being a girl going to school. This act of violence sent shock waves around the world and an international effort to save this young scholar brought her to England for medical care. She survived and recovered after multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.
Faced with the option of fading into relative obscurity, Malala instead chose to become an advocate for the education of girls worldwide. With the help of her father, she founded The Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to ensuring that girls around the world have an opportunity to learn and become leaders. For her work, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
CALL TO ACTION
Learn more about Malala’s mission and how you can contribute to the Malala Fund at www.Malala.org.
Lea began sewing at age six and quilting at 16. She earned an M.A. in Education and has taught almost 40 years, including nine years teaching and traveling overseas. More than a teacher, Lea is a lifelong learner. While overseas, she studied carpet weaving in Turkey and fabric dying in Japan. In 2007, she discovered a passion for portrait quilting. Since then, her award-winning quilts have been exhibited around the world, and featured in numerous publications. Lea shares the knowledge and techniques behind her award-winning quilts in lectures, workshops, online courses, magazine articles, and her book, Thread Painted Portraits. www.leamccomas.com
This is the legacy of one man. Growing up in a poor country, fighting for it, and then deciding to uproot himself and his family to a new promised land, he bid his familiar home farewell, got on a boat and headed off.
I am proud of him. I am proud to be his granddaughter. I wish I had known him better. I wish I knew his struggles, his foibles, all of it. A lost generation they called his. World War I was a brutal and devastating war. So many gave so much. He was one of the lucky. He returned home. Then he decided to leave. For more? For promise? Maybe just to start over, where he could be his own kind of man. The promise, the possibility of America. It beckons. It calls. Still.
To be a first generation immigrant is to be that hope, that line cast out into the unknown. To be that first generation immigrant to so answer that call, across the big divide to the siren saying, “Come on, come try things over here.” To be that first generation immigrant is to say goodbye to all that is known. To all that has been comfortable, familiar and habit.
CALL TO ACTION
Lorie McCown is an American artist, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art, from California State University, Long Beach, Ca. and attended San Diego State University’s Graduate Art program. She was formally trained in drawing, painting, and art history. She has made art all her life, mainly in the fields of drawing, painting, paper, textile and fiber. Her pieces are in private collections and public galleries nationally and internationally. Her work has been juried into local, national and international shows, including Quilt National, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and Mid-Atlantic New Painting. Lorie’s artwork has been featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine, Quilting Arts Magazine, Surface Design Magazine, Fiber Art Now Magazine and Artist’s Portfolio Magazine. She teaches workshops and classes nationally in painting, mixed media and fiber arts. She lives in Fredericksburg, VA.
JUDY CHICAGO *
Judy Chicago, 1939 - Chicago, IL
Judy Chicago’s most famous work, The Dinner Party, executed between 1974 and 1979, upended the art world with its feminist stance and collaborative nature. Her art shines as a beacon, embracing women’s history, conceptual art, fine craft and multimedia sculpture. Completed with hundreds of volunteers, that work is now installed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Other ambitious projects include The Birth Project and The Holocaust Project. She also creates transitory environmental art using smoke, dry ice, and fireworks. Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for social change. As a young artist, who wanted to be taken as seriously as my male counterparts, Chicago proves both that women are and can be artists, and that the dynamic of male dominance of the art world was and still is an issue:
"Historically, women have either been excluded from the process of creating the definitions of what is considered art or allowed to participate only if we accept and work within existing mainstream designations. If women have no real role as women in the process of defining art, then we are essentially prevented from helping to shape cultural symbols."
CALL TO ACTION
Through the Flower is a cultural arts center in Belen, NM, founded by Judy Chicago. www.throughtheflower.org
Susie Monday was an art major in the 1960s in San Antonio. The clear message from her (male) professors: Women can teach art, but being an artist takes a man’s hand. Since then, Susie worked her way in nonlinear female fashion along a rambling but creative path as (yes) an art educator, a journalist, a children’s museum designer, and stints as nanny, Christmas decoration elf and author. She launched her career as a textile-teaching artist 20 years ago. Susie’s work is in public and private collections, and has been featured in many exhibitions both in the U.S. and internationally. www.susiemonday.com
BILL! BILL! BILL! *
I teach middle-school science. Almost every student I have knows who Bill Nye is. They yell along with the video, Bill! Bill! Bill!, and then tell me all the things they’ve learned from Bill, which is awesome! But you know why he’s my hero? The videos are great, sure, and certainly help us teach science in an entertaining way. Bill could have just made those videos, cashed the checks, and put his feet up. But he didn’t. He went out into the world and used his notoriety and knowledge to argue about climate change and genetics and our human responsibility to the planet and even women’s rights worldwide. He continuously tries to make the world a better place for my students and me. He wants to educate everyone about how to fix what we’ve done, not just kids in school. He tells all of us we’re going to save the world. That’s why he’s my hero.
CALL TO ACTION
There are many environmental and climate-related organizations trying to help the planet. Two of the top-rated charities are the National Resource Defense Council (www.nrdc.org) and the Environmental Defense Fund (www.edf.org). They take donations. I would also suggest researching the voting record of your local representatives and only voting for those who support the environment over profits. If you don't have spare money, and you want to be part of the change, you can go to 50 Ways to Help (www.50waystohelp.com) and start changing how you and your family live.
Nida is a figurative quilt artist with a BFA from University of California, Irvine. She has lived in the San Diego, California, area for almost 30 years. She has participated in numerous group and juried art and art quilt exhibits, as well as a two-person show and two solo shows. Her work has traveled internationally and has been published in books and magazines. She works full-time as a middle-school science teacher; the focus of what she teaches every day often ends up in her art. www.kathynida.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Conaughton
My quilt, “Look Look,” celebrates all teachers of every age and every land. Teachers are the universal superheroes, “ordinary people who have embraced an extraordinary calling.” Whether their classroom is modern marvel equipped with the latest technology or a bombed-out shelter in some war-torn city, or a one-room country school, or the ground beneath a shade tree in some dusty village, they passionately and purposefully go about their devotion to their students, despite being generally underpaid and under appreciated.
Every day finds them working long hours with loving determination, giving of themselves in ways most of us cannot imagine. They sacrifice their own resources, their free time, as well as that of their families. There is little or no fanfare, no drums and bugles; just the consistent day-to-day tasks that must be done. Teachers do this because it is what they choose to do. They nurture the children of the world; and every now and then they are rewarded with those glorious moments when a child’s face lights up with a newly discovered skill. Teachers make a better world by helping children discover that wonderful potential within them. They show them where to look without telling them what to see.
Rachel was born in Alabama, has lived all over the United States, and now resides in Alabama. She is married to YC Parris. Rachel is retired but has an MA degree in Speech/Language Pathology, and a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has worked as a teacher, a speech/language pathologist, a rehab director, and a nursing home administrator. She enjoys art quilting, reading, hanging out with friends, and fine wine.
HELL AND HOPE *
Alice Sebold was brutally raped at knifepoint in 1981 as a freshman in college. In the midst of writing what became the bestseller The Lovely Bones, she wrote Lucky — her memoir published 18 years after the horrific events of that night. In Lucky she laid out her soul, sharing her intimate thoughts and feelings in each meaningful interaction in the subsequent days, months, and years. Just knowing her struggle has created the atmosphere for rape victims like myself to acknowledge, heal and grow. Her self-described journey left her “in a world where two truths coexist; where both hell and hope lie in the palm of” her hand.
I recently read Lucky, nearly 40 years after I was assaulted by a serial rapist. Alice Sebold told her story with candor and questions and emotion, never being afraid to say the hard truth. RAPE. It’s the typically unspoken four-letter word that she is not afraid to say. Fear, anger and a range of emotions surround the word. We can’t understand the people involved or heal without acknowledging our truth. Alice Sebold has opened the door for me and countless others to be in communion with ourselves and those closest to us.
CALL TO ACTION
Alice Sebold currently serves on the RAINN National Leadership Council. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs with local agencies to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
RAINN’s Action Center provides information on top issues and ways to contact Congress directly to affect legislation that can improve the criminal justice system, support survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable. www.RAINN.org
If you are the victim of rape, abuse or incest, call 800-656-HOPE or chat online at online.rainn.org or rainn.org/es (Espanol)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care, provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-8255
Valerie Paterson is a creative quilter who lets her spirit give her unexpected results. Her joy is letting ideas unfold in the process of creating a quilt. Her love of a challenge has yielded her several first place awards in addition to Most Creative, Best Machine Quilting and the honor of having her quilt travel across North America as part of the 2013 Hoffman Fabric Challenge. Currently spending more time writing than quilting, her book will describe the rapes she endured, the process of moving forward with her life and then the Pandora’s Box of emotions that resurfaced years later.
DROPS OF LOVE: A LIFE WOVEN WITH GOD *
Mother Teresa is a name known worldwide. Her legacy helps us make this a better world. Born in Skopje, Macedonia, 1910, she attended public school and was a member of a foreign missions group. At twelve, Agnes felt a calling to serve the poor. At eighteen, she joined the Catholic Sisters of Loretta, and worked in their school in Calcutta, India, taking her final vows in 1937. In 1946, SisterTeresa had a ‘call within a call’ to serve the poor. She left to start a group called the Missionaries of Charity, an official religious group accepting members worldwide. Vows included poverty, chastity, obedience, and a fourth vow to give service to the poor. It grew to two hundred operations in more than twenty-five countries. Sister Teresa was honored with the most awards of any woman, including The Noble Peace Prize, Congressional Gold Medal, Schweitzer International Prize
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” This is an invitation to learn her life and offer drops of love into our ocean.
CALL TO ACTION
To learn the life and legacy of Mother Teresa and offer ‘drops of love,’ acts of charity, would be the only request from the followers of Mother Teresa. She herself said that anyone can start with one small act of kindness and grow from there. Her life, woven with God, was dedicated entirely to this philosophy.
Cindy has been working with fiber art for more than 30 years. She started with art festivals exhibiting wall hangings and women’s clothing, which were pieced, painted, and beaded. As an art educator, she added a graphic art degree and now designs many of the fabrics used in the fiber art.
THE EXPLOSIVES INVENTOR *
Alfred Nobel is best known as the inventor of dynamite. He also created a safer way of transporting nitroglycerin and holds the patent to a total of 355 different inventions. Before dying, he created the Nobel Peace Prize, which consisted of five categories from physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. Today there are six Nobel categories. It is not very well known, but Nobel was also a playwright in his time.
CALL TO ACTION
Donate to the Nobel Foundation. www.nobelprize.org
I was born and raised in Bonham, Texas and was a resident of Sherman for the past 30 plus years. I learned to piece at the age of 17. I took three art quilting classes back in 2011 and now I am more attracted to the artistic side of quilting than the traditional, but I have since started combining the two methods together so that I don’t forget the traditional side. I have been an instructor for the past five years since learning the portraiture technique. I have won numerous awards as a mixed media artist and as a quilt artist.
The reader, someone who chooses to process meaning from the written word, is an essential member of today’s “better world.” Who understands the climate issues? What do we do about social inequalities? How do we solve the worldwide immigration crisis? Where will our food source be in 10, 20 years? The harsh realities and extreme fantasies of our modern world require a citizenry that investigates with vigilance and comprehends with wisdom. Vast amounts of information, some factual and much delusional, needs studying and discerning. Fact checking requires a reader with mental strength, who comprehends the written word and uses multiple resources to research for the truth. Too many readers remain aliterate – able to read with comprehension, but instead choosing to ignore the facts, who make life decisions and vote without accurate information. From the brick and mortar library to digital materials to podcasts and the “cloud,” information to answer questions and concerns is readily available. The person choosing to gather information, investigate for answers, and find solutions for the world’s society order is certainly one of our heroes. Here’s to THE READER!
CALL TO ACTION
The Climate Reality Project www.climaterealityproject.org
Human Rights Initiative www.csis.org/programs/human-rights-initiative
Natural Resources Defense Council www.act.nrdc.org
Mary Ritter is a retired educator who is committed to the mixed media and quilt medium. She is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates and Professional Art Quilt Alliance – South. Mary’s art focuses on a variety of styles, from representational to abstract, that help her tell a story. She uses surface treatments such as dyeing, painting, photography, mixed media and machine and hand stitches. Mary currently exhibits at Page-Walker Art and History Center in Cary, NC. Her inspirational quilt, Le Chêne Chapelle (The Oak Chapel), is on the 2019-2020 tour with Sacred Threads Quilts, a biennial exhibition of quilts exploring themes of joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. Mary’s work has been published in the SAQA Journal. www.maryritter.com
SHINING THE LIGHT
Elizabeth Matherne is the lead attorney for a branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative. She closed her practice and moved to be an advocate for those needing a voice. “I feel a great sense of purpose holding our government accountable to people they would rather throw away like trash,” she says. “I am part of a team shining a light on the shadows where the injustice hides and festers. Those shadows are darkest and widest for people without celebrity or vast resources. We can’t change the outcome for everyone but we can make sure every stone is overturned and people understand what is happening.”
Our laws haven’t changed… just those enforcing them. Immigrants, like ourselves, deserve due process under the law. Due to that, “because Liberty is at stake” is something Elizabeth and her team say to themselves daily. Liberty is not the only thing taken from these immigrants as they fight for a chance to remain here. Our government is doing their best to strip their humanity away as well. Lawyers like Elizabeth are doing what they can in this uphill battle. They are changing the directions of their futures to do this work because they know that immigrants need a voice like theirs in order to shine the light.
CALL T O ACTION
National Immigration Bond Fund
Kristin Rodriguez started quilting in 2005. Her style has varied over the years as she explores the world of quilting. Kristin has settled into using mainly her own hand-dyed fabrics/fibers to create layers of texture in her pieces. She collaborates often on pieces with her mother, Janelle Girod, with whom she also teaches, for their business Fiber on a Whim. Over the last few years her work has been featured in several magazines, books, and also on Quilting Arts TV. www.fiberonawhim.com
A MISSION OF LOVE – KATHY PRICE *
Kathy Price is the founder and director of an all-volunteer organization called Mission of Love. It is the single largest user of the Denton Program, which uses military cargo planes to ship disaster relief, medical and educational supplies, and building supplies. These supplies are shipped for free all over the world, to developing countries. Kathy’s mission is to help children and families living in poverty who are living in destitute situations. She has built hospitals, schools, orphanages and hospices for indigenous people in Guatemala; Mexico; Pine Ridge, SD; and in other countries. She is an angel walking among us.
Her motto is “Know that we are not here to save the world but in this world to touch the hands and hearts that are within our reach.” She has helped communities devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes and famine. She is truly one of the most selfless people I have encountered in my life, and she is a mentor and teacher. Kathy attracts donations of food, money, supplies, and the services of doctors and nurses who travel to give free cleft lip and palate surgeries. She is tireless and selfless, and an inspiration to all who know her.
CALL TO ACTION
Support Kathy Price and her vision at www.missionoflove.org
Luana has worked as a designer and artist in the garment and textile industries since 1981. She is the co-owner of eQuilter.com, and is a Bernina Ambassador. eQuilter donates 2% of sales to charity, which now totals over $1.6 million. Mission of Love has been a recipient of donated funds for 19 years. Mission of Love has also helped to distribute the 14,000 donated comfort quilts through eQuilter, for disaster relief, medical patients, and orphanages. Luana’s work has been exhibited at the United Nations in Geneva, the US Embassy in Rome, and Library of Congress in Washington, DC. www.eQuilter.com
SAVES THE WORLD ENTIRE
My hero is not a celebrity, nor even one particular person. I wanted to pay tribute to the countless veterinarians and vet techs who give of their time, talent and heart to save the most vulnerable creatures among us. The marvelous line in the Talmud which states that whoever saves one life, saves the world entire, is so fitting for these dedicated professionals who often bring injured animals home to nurse them until they can be adopted. The gratitude I feel is quite personal as one of these animals – who was saved after being thrown from a moving car into traffic – is now the healthy, irrepressible furry leader of our pack.
CALL TO ACTION
Your local no-kill animal shelters need you! Large national nonprofits do tremendous work but your local rescue organizations are always in need of funds to help these veterinarians and vet techs provide critical medical care. These mission-based organizations can do amazing things with small budgets, and your help will help make an incredible impact. Get involved… your compassion counts even more in today’s often-cruel environment.
Laurie Russman is a fiber artist who creates unique textile art inspired by photographs. Her favorite theme is animals, followed closely by nature and travel. A frequent teacher at International Quilt Festival’s Open Studios and the beloved City Quilter in NYC, she appeared in Series 2000 and 2100 of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. Laurie is a frequent contributor to Quilting Arts magazine and has also written for The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into International Quilt Festival in Houston, AQS QuiltWeek Paducah and the National Juried Show at Quilt Canada. Laurie is an Aurifil Artisan and a devoted MistyFuse fan; she blogs frequently about projects featuring these amazing threads and effects made possible by the best fusible web!
She is a former board member of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in Connecticut with her husband, angelic German Shepherd Dog, and three mischievous felines. www.neonkittyquilts.com
K-9 SEARCH AND RESCUE *
Missing children. Stranded hikers. Buried skiers. When disasters strike, unique teams of canine and humans set out to rescue and reunite people in trouble. Who hasn’t been moved by images of a dog and its handler heroically climbing through rubble or fearlessly braving fire, smoke and debris in search of trapped and injured victims? Or been inspired by these valiant teams charging headlong into ferocious weather, over severe terrain and into danger to help those in desperate need?
When they aren’t saving lives through first aid and CPR, searching the wilderness with air-scent trailing, performing avalanche rescues, detecting human remains, or doing water searches, the teams are out in the community providing public education and demonstrations.
What most don’t realize is that these K-9 Search & Rescue units are all-volunteer organizations, surviving on the tireless efforts of unpaid volunteers. Handlers are responsible for all their expenses, including years of training, classes, re-certifications, equipment and veterinarian care for their animals. These amazing heroes among us go above and beyond every day, coming to the aid of anyone lost or injured whenever and wherever they are needed.
CALL TO ACTION
One of the principal missions of SAR foundations is to provide funds to supplement the Sheriff office’s budgets in each county or jurisdiction across the country. K-9 Search & Rescue relies primarily on the private donations of businesses and individuals. Every mission is performed free of charge. Donations go towards:
• Supplies and equipment for the teams and dogs
• Radio communications equipment
• Storage facilities
• Public education and awareness
• Non-profit organization administration expenses
Terri Shinn has had a needle in her hand from an early age, she comes from a long line of quilters that helped shape and influence her passion for textiles. Terri’s artwork and techniques continue to evolve. Her work has been featured in numerous books, regional, national and international shows, and is included in private and public collections. She views experimentation as an essential part of the process. Terri especially enjoys the discovery process as she plays with a multitude of materials, experiments with different textures, and tackles new techniques. She’s always looking for new ways to “torture” fabric. www.terrishinn.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Frey
JEANNE MARCIA CARTER SMITH
These stepping stones represent how Jeanne Marcia Carter Smith walked the talk. A survivor of diphtheria and scarlet fever in early childhood, she went on to lead a long life of touching many people. She completed pre-med classes, but chose to teach high school health and physical education.
During her 40 years in education, Jeanne nurtured young people into adulthood, mentored university students, was a strong advocate for Title IX, coached basketball, and secured scholarships for her players. After retirement, she became a caregiver to her husband, and gave time to her church and organizations. I am proud to have called her Mom.
CALL TO ACTION
Mom was a wonderful example of what it meant to walk the talk. She was my role model of how to live a life of caring, giving, teaching, and advocating. Because we were both in education, the welfare of children was close to our hearts. Children need a safe, nurturing environment in order to thrive. CASA, Court Appointed Child Advocates, can make a world of difference for neglected and abused children in our nation. Be a volunteer to help our children.
Annie Smith is an artist who prefers to create intuitively, from her heart, letting the fabrics’ and fibers’ colors and textures provide the guideposts for her journey. At times, she begins with a title and works backwards to create a piece. Other times, she sees the entire piece in her mind’s eye and follows the path to completion. She has work in both private and corporate collections. www.anniesmithart.com
COACH’S CLIPBOARD: WIN BY FALL *
From world-class cities to the smallest villages and towns on every continent, there are coaches who give their time, skills and knowledge to the children of the world. Their names may not be instantly recognizable, they may not receive the appreciation our first responders do, but they make the world a better place. A top high school wrester, my husband Paul volunteered for 11 years as a wrestling coach, starting when our eldest signed up for wrestling in sixth grade through our younger son’s final high school year. He was the clipboard guy, keeping notes on what the wrestlers did well, what needed practice in the coming week, their scores in meets and the team scores. “Win by fall,” for those not familiar with wrestling, is what you want: to win by pinning your opponent. Luckily, that was a fairly frequent occurrence in Eli’s high school career.
This quilt is a father and son moment, but it also represents the generosity of all Eli’s coaches, as well as coaches around the world. Thanks to Eli’s middle school coaches: Jim Morse (Cross Country, Track and Field); True Bragg and Paul, and when Eli visited the high school Levi Rollins (Wrestling), and assorted soccer coaches. In high school, thanks to Becky Flanagan and Helen Bonzi (Cross Country); Patrick Kelly, Perry Goodspeed, Jack Kelly and Paul and all the alumni wrestlers who came to help the team; and Sarah Mismash (Track and Field).
CALL TO ACTION
Support extra-curricular sports locally: Contact your schools and find out what they need, from volunteers to funding to supplies. Things that need funding may include new uniforms, bus travel for tournaments, hotels if the tournaments require an overnight trip, new scoreboards and more. Most of all, support the kids who are learning lessons for life: health, fitness, personal responsibility, that some things need effort and only the kid can do that. Learning to be independent and work hard is a lesson that will stand our children in good stead their entire lives. The coaches, families and community are what make sports possible.
SARAH ANN SMITH
When Sarah was six, her family returned to the U.S. after living on four continents. Sarah’s route to art was circuitous with university, a Master’s Degree, and life as a U.S. diplomat. Sarah says her birthplace was a geographical accident, it should have been Maine. Maine’s everyday beauty inspires her work. Playing with color, cloth, dye, paint, line, shape, form, light and shadow is simply pure joy. Sarah’s work has been juried into shows around the world including the inaugural Rising Stars exhibit at International Quilt Festival 2017 and is in public and private collections. She is an author, has an instructional video and has appeared on Quilting Arts TV and The Quilt Show. www.SarahAnnSmith.com
THE CORAL WORLD *
I chose to honor the heroes of the coral reefs. I want to specifically, make reference to the men and women who came together to create the movie “Chasing Coral,” which creativity documents the wondrous beauty of the coral reefs, and the tragic transformation they are encountering around the world. The coral reef experts in the movie specifically communicate how the warming of the ocean is killing the coral animal. This is known as coral bleaching.
“Chasing Coral” was created by using time-lapse photography taken by divers who daily swam to the reefs and documented its changes. The group’s purpose was to enlighten humanity to danger that our oceans are in. The movie was created to educate, innovation, and find solutions to help the reefs thrive. They invite us to participate in ways that are helpful to the reefs, and are one of many groups who believe that if each one of us does our part we can help have a hand in saving the coral reefs, and the future of the world.
CALL TO ACTION
The movie Chasing Coral by Exposure Lab Production can be found on Netflix. You can help by watching it, and then sharing it with others. If you are interested in other ways to help or get involved with these heroes please go to www.chasingcoral.com
Artist Ana Sumner has throughout her life resonated with art, fibers and storytelling. She has combined all three to create art expressing the wonders of the earth. Her love affair with fiber art began in 2004 with a crazy quilting class that sparked within her a passion to express nature’s beauty. To create art, she uses a variety of techniques. Painting, drawing, free motion drawing, and appliqué. Then she embellishes by either quilting or hand stitching using embroidery stitches, specialty threads, and beads. She finds it challenging to explore the ways fibers can represents what she sees. www.sewuniqueart.com
REMEMBER ALMA THOMAS
When I first became aware of Alma W. Thomas (1891-1978), her work took my breath away. I am an artist living in Georgia. She was born in Columbus, GA, before moving to Washington, DC. As an artist, she is a hero for all she accomplished, her visual impact and her place in history. The first fine arts graduate of Howard University, she taught art for 35 years at a DC junior high school, painting part time. When she retired, she developed her signature style, defined as abstract, and became associated with the Washington Color School.
At 80, she was the first woman artist of color to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Her bold colorful pieces were exhibited three times at the White House. I consider her a role model for all women, women of color and older artists. She is part of my work, my vision for myself. Be bold. Believe in what you do. My goals and perseverance continue. Her life story inspires me! I will not duplicate her work, but I will continue to be inspired by her work. I am a fiber artist.
CALL TO ACTION
Amani Sewing Academy at Amani Women Center in Clarkston, GA, gives refugee women a place to develop their sewing skills, stretch their creativity and gain a vocation: www.amaniwomencenter.org
There is a thread that runs through Sandra Teepen’s life. A fabric artist, Sandra has worked in a wide variety of fabric forms: weaving, costuming, quilting and collage, her current emphasis. Her pieces combine traditional forms with contemporary color sensibilities and design. After studying at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, she went into costume design at the Guthrie Theater, the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and the Missouri Repertory Theater in Kansas City. Now she creates fiber collages in her home studio in Atlanta, where she has lived since 1982. www.sandieslabel.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Barbara Senftleber
THIS BEAUTIFUL LAND
Matthew Coon Come has spent over 40 years serving the indigenous world. Born in Northern Quebec, he was forced to attend an abusive residential school. He came home to lead – as Mistissini Chief, Cree Grand Chief, and Chief of the Canadian Assembly of First Nations. He is honoured with many degrees and awards, including the Order of Canada.
Matthew, with the support of his strong and lovely wife MaryAnn, successfully advocates and negotiates for self-governance, renewable energy, education, health, housing, environmental protection, infrastructure and legal recognition for land rights and resource use. He travels globally to indigenous communities, tirelessly tackling national, provincial and international governments and corporations for fair compensation and autonomy.
In 1984, the Coon Come family took me into the bush to share Cree traditional ways with kindness, love and humour. This changed everything about my life. I married into the Wapachee family, and our sons are richly connected to their northern territory.
CALL TO ACTION
All is done for love of this wild, rich and spectacular land, traditional ways of life and ceremonies, our beautiful Cree family. The interdependence of trees, animals, water, rocks and humans is a fundamental Cree philosophy we all need to honour, and fiercely protect.
Maggie Vanderweit has been operating her business Stone Threads Fibre Art since 2000. She is inspired to create by the interconnected social, personal, spiritual and natural universes. Her contemporary art quilts are created with original, intense surface design. She exhibits internationally and presents lectures, retreats and workshops. Maggie is a Juried Art Member of SAQA, a professional member of CQA and is nationally and internationally recognized and awarded. Maggie has appeared on Quilting Arts TV and is included in their dyeing DVD. Publications include her 2016 book “Stone Threads” and many catalogs, books and magazines, including Quilting Arts. www.stonethreads.ca
PHOTO CREDIT: MayAnn Coon Come
SOUJOURNER TRUTH & CHARLES WHITE *
Isabella Baumfree Van Wagonen (1797-1883) was a former slave who answered a spiritual calling to “go East” and spread the Truth. Traveling throughout New England, the Midwest and East Coast, Sojourner Truth spoke powerfully about the injustices of slavery and voting rights for ALL women. At an early Women’s Suffrage rally in Ohio, she stood her full six feet tall and thundered, “I have plowed and worked as hard as any man, and am I not a woman and a sister?”
Noted for her strong speaking and singing voice, her articulateness and quick wit, Truth lived at the Northampton settlement with Frederick Douglass and other abolitionist activists prior to the Civil War. As colleague and friend to Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and many early suffragists, she spoke Truth to Power to support women’s rights.
The image here was from the 1939 mural “Five Great American Negroes” painted by 21-year-old Charles White (1918-1979) who, like Sojourner Truth, dedicated his art and his life to issues of social justice and human rights. This extraordinarily talented artist and teacher was committed to creating images of those African-Americans who were not included in history books or were overlooked every day in contemporary life.
CALL TO ACTION
Polaris (anti-slavery and human trafficking) www.polarisproject.org
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Civil and human rights, Social Justice www.aclu.org
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Foundation www.naacpldf.org
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) supporting and educating young and established artists. www.lacma.org
Denny Webster is a retired professor of nursing and feminist therapist. She began quilting when her first grandchild was born and shortly thereafter extended her interests to art quilting. Her series “The Ladies” and “Healing Quilts” were intended to educate, amuse, and/or contribute to healing ourselves and others at the individual, local and global levels. www.dennywebster.com
BRAVE “ENEMIES” *
The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us freedom of the press. Journalists work every day to exercise that right and tell the truth. They provide facts – from science to religion, from economy to politics. However, it is increasingly more dangerous to be a journalist in this world. They risk their lives in the gathering of stories. They walk alongside soldiers, embedded in war zones. They reveal information about illegal work, where the telling the truth puts them in grave danger. Ninety-four journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018. Many more were injured and many experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
A man recently said to me that the only group he hated more than politicians was journalists. He considered them liars and had nothing but distrust for them. My quilt represents a bulletin board of clippings and thoughts. Central in the design is a microphone image hanging from a noose. While many would like journalists to be silent, they continue to speak and write through these dangers in order to tell the truth, to make transparent the things that wish to hide. I propose that we celebrate the truth-tellers and thank them for their courage in telling this truth.
CALL TO ACTION
More than ever in our history, we need fair and unbiased information about the world. And journalists providing that information are increasingly under threat for their work. 78 lost their lives doing their jobs just in 2017. Our demand for news as it happens has journalists embedded with troops alongside our trained and armed military. Revealing secrets of drug cartels results in threats to reporters and families. Telling the truth turns reporters into targets by those who don’t want the truth to be told. Journalists in the US are referred to as enemies of the people by our government – just for telling the truth. I honor these brave “enemies” for their courage. I honor them for digging deep, uncomfortably deep in their pursuit of the truth. I plead that critics of the media open their minds to truth-tellers. I plead that citizens pay sincere attention to the stories provided by journalists. I plead for respect for the profession, which exercises free speech as guaranteed by our constitution.
Even as a small child. I was always making something. I saved bits of fabric, paper, paint, wood, interesting rocks – because “I can make something with this.” I was influenced deeply by my father who thrived on working with his hands and seeing beauty in the world around him. I studied art and languages at Luther College and in Norway. I had careers in education, incentive marketing and sports marketing. This work took me around the world. But I always had an art project with me. I am primarily an art quilter, interpreting experiences and favorite images into wall quilts. www.enidgjelten.com
TURNING THE TIDE *
“Mama” Efua Dorkenoo (1949 – 2014) was a hero both locally and on the world stage in the fight to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or “cutting.” While working with African women in the UK, Mama Efua became acutely aware of the dangerous health complications that result from FGM. So began her campaign to end the practice, which has adversely affected 200 million women and girls worldwide.
All types of FGM involve cutting female genital tissue and can result in lifelong impairment, dysfunction and sometimes death. Mama Efua led the effort to recognize the dangers inherent in the practice. At the World Health Organization she guided policy changes that define FGM as torture and to condemn its use. Through her energetic & tenacious determination she has helped give birth to many organizations (see below) that comfort survivors, support and educate families and communities, and that continue to secure legislative changes to ban the practice of FGM.
Thirty years on, it finally looks as if changes are taking hold! Mama Efua has laid the groundwork for safeguarding the health and wellbeing of millions of women and girls, a hero if there ever was one!
CALL TO ACTION
FGM is here in the USA, Canada and Europe; it is no longer only in Africa and the Middle East. We must create the legislation needed to fight this assault and torture on women and girls and prevent its continuation. Please support any of the following organizations that are making strides by assisting victims and helping communities to eliminate the practice of FGM altogether.
Maggie’s artwork is often a response to nature, life stories and experiences, resulting in a varied collection of Quilts and Art Cloth. In her most recent work she has been drawn to issues of social justice or the lack thereof, and calling attention to the gross imbalances in power and privilege in our country. Maggie’s been quilting, dyeing, painting and teaching about fabric for more than 20 years. www.maggieweiss.com
HARRIET TUBMAN *
Harriet Tubman, often referred to as “Moses,” is remembered as a conductor on the underground railroad. Having escaped slavery on her own prior to the Civil War, she then helped many others escape to freedom in the north. Contrary to the name, this was not a train one boarded and sat on comfortably until their final station destination. It was a difficult and dangerous trek by foot, often at night and in winter to avoid detection. In addition, Tubman also provided specific instructions to many more fugitives who escaped to the north on their own, and aided in the Union effort during the Civil War.
Inspired by an 1885 photo by Horatio Seymour Squyer (in the public domain) in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC; I have added a quilt behind Harriet Tubman in a pattern called “railroad” which was popular during her lifetime and which references both the underground railroad and my artistic roots as a quilter.
This piece is constructed in raw edge machine applique, using commercially available cotton print fabrics and cotton canvas backing. Many of the fabrics used are Civil War era reproduction fabrics, an additional reference to her historical timeframe.
CALL TO ACTION
During her lifetime, Harriet Tubman fought for many things—she fought to bring an end to slavery; she fought for women’s right to vote, and she worked to provide a stable living environment for those at the end of their lives. Honor her by contributing to any of the causes she felt strongly about—the rights of freedom, for racial equality, for women and for the elderly. Or donate to the National Park Service, which maintains the Harriet Tubman Historical site in Auburn NY here: www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/harriet-tubman-national-historical-park
LENI LEVENSON WIENER
Leni Levenson Wiener is an art quilter, instructor, coach for emerging artists, author of four books and numerous magazine articles; and is included in several compilation books. She has appeared on The Quilt Show and Quilting Arts TV, has an online class with iquilt, and is a BERNINA Ambassador. Her raw-edge machine applique quilts focus on the body language of people caught in ordinary moments and have been exhibited throughout the US and internationally. Leni’s solo “Park Bench Stories” show has been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe and will end its run at the National Quilt Museum in 2020. www.leniwiener.com
LISTEN TO THE LEAVES *
The revered poet Mary Oliver, whose life work focuses on quiet observations of nature, reveals her passion in the simple pleasure of wonderment. The riches that she has gifted us in her simple words, magically laced together, invite us to stroll in a meadow, to look about and ponder. As we pay close attention, we might not just hear but perhaps we will listen; we might not just look but might also see.
To read one of Oliver’s poems, to reflect on each line, to ponder each unpretentious word and thought, to let it wash over and settle in you, is to understand how Oliver explores her own world. She listens to each breeze and hears its voice. She delights in the simple mysteries of nature and simply asks us to pay attention. But as she tells us about these things, she also implies that we are okay as we are. Her words are comforting and inspiring, and reassure us that we are enough.
CALL TO ACTION
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.”
Mary Oliver’s words spill over me and catch me unaware.
It is her insistence on observation, on patience, and on empathy that we shall practice every single day… and so, this is my hope for you: listen to the leaves, “Pay Attention”, “Be Astonished” and know that “You are Enough.”
Although Libby stitched quilts as a child, she quickly abandoned traditional piecing, finding her passion in mixed-media art quilts. College provided in-depth studies in printmaking, which influences her current work. Free-motion stitching is central to Libby’s work, using her sewing machine primarily as a drawing tool. She layers hand-painted fabrics, recycled tea bags, and embedded found objects in her art. Libby teaches in her studio and at destination retreats including Craft Napa and Art & Soul. She has been published in Quilting Arts Magazine and she has been featured on Quilting Arts TV and The Quilt Show. www.libbywilliamson.com
MR ROGERS: CHILD ADVOCATE *
My daughters loved Mr. Rogers. They were convinced that he loved them, too. Everyday he spoke directly to them, telling them that they were important, loved, worthy and special just as they were. His mission was to spread kindness and he did that by carefully crafting every line of the script and songs he wrote. His TV show helped children find healthy ways to handle their emotions. His puppets and make believe characters acted out sometimes difficult scenarios for children, offering solutions backed by theories of childhood development. This contrasted with the often violent presentation of shows for young viewers at the time, especially in cartoons.
Fred Rogers’ life mirrored his television persona. He provided young viewers a role model and leader to emulate and a friend they believed in and trusted. These are the traits of a real hero, unlike the familiar “super hero” qualities popular today. How would our neighborhood, workplace, school look if we accepted others as we would want to be accepted?
CALL TO ACTION
Every aspect of Fred Rogers’ work was from a child’s perspective. He studied child development and sought out expert advice for his television program. www.childadvocates.org offers many ways to volunteer, donate and attend events. www.nationalcac.org also offers opportunities for training and ways to volunteer. While the above organizations focus on child abuse, there are many ways
to serve as a child advocate from volunteering at a local library, elementary school, church, or within the court system.
I sew. I have started a program at my church to make small quilts for children attending a pre-school for homeless children in Houston, TX. House of Tiny Treasures is supported by SEARCH, Houston, the umbrella organization for the homeless community.
Hope Wilmarth created her first, original, art quilt in 2009, responding to a juried gallery call. The experience led her into the world of fiber artists, which continues to challenge, educate and open new opportunities to explore surface design. Hope’s professional background is that of a Registered Nurse during which time she enjoyed traditional quilting, calligraphy, embroidery, and other media that she now applies to her art. Hope is a published fiber artist, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Hope’s art is in the permanent collection at Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA, as well as in private homes. She is a Juried Member Artist of Studio Art Quilt Associates. www.hopewilmarth.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Rick Wells
CHEFS: COOKING FOR GOOD
With the popularity of cooking shows up on TV, chefs have become our new celebrities and many are using their new found celebrity for good. Chefs are hands on, practical, can-do individuals used to the organizational problems of setting up kitchens and procuring supplies. So it is no surprise that in many natural disasters they are among the first responders on site feeding people who have lost everything. Red tape, lack of know-how and difficult communications often hamper governmental agencies, but chefs just know how to feed people, quickly and sustainably.
On other fronts, Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver are working to providing healthier options in schools and educating children and families about how foods actually get to our tables. Roy Choi is addressing the needs of citizens living in food deserts (areas of inner cities where fast food outlets are on every corner, but fresh fruits and vegetables and restaurants serving healthier options are hard to find).
The names in this quilt are only a sampling of the many chefs and their non-profit organizations around the world using their know-how, visibility and popularity to make for a better world where everyone eats better.
CALL TO ACTION
World Central Kitchen is changing the world through the eyes of a chef. As chefs, our work in the kitchen improves health, increases education rates, provides career skills, and creates food businesses. www.worldcentralkitchen.org
The Edible Schoolyard Project builds the capacity of edible education programs with tools and trainings rooted in more than 20 years of experience. www.edibleschoolyard.org
Chefs to End Hunger provides meals to the hungry by redistributing the excess prepared food that would normally go to waste in hotels, restaurants, and other food service operations to local charitable organizations to serve the meals. www.chefsendhunger.org
SALLY GOULD WRIGHT
Sally Gould Wright is a textile artist living and working in Southern California. Like many, she began as a traditional quilter, but soon moved into the realm of art quilts and prefers to indulge her passion for intense color, line and texture in pieces that can be viewed as art for the wall rather than on the bed. Her background in the fine and decorative arts and love for the natural world, including her beautiful state of California, inspire subjects which range from architecture to still life to landscape. www.sallywrightquilts.com
OUR LADY OF HUMANITARIAN AID *
This art honors two volunteer-based groups that address different dimensions of the suffering caused by policies toward refugees, migration, immigration, and border policing. No More Deaths/No Más Muertes maintains a humanitarian presence in Arizona along remote corridors into which migration has been pushed. Volunteers hike the trails and leave water and other supplies. Border Angels advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice on issues related to the US-Mexican border. Border Angels engages in awareness programs, legal aid, and resources that include trips to the desert outside of San Diego to place water and supplies along crossing routes.
Our Lady of Humanitarian Aid is my contribution to this exhibition. This work is inspired by the stories on the US Mexican border. The resources and assistance are being provided with human kindness, love, respect, and dignity for so many that have endured so much. The organizations provide water, food, clothing, legal aid, and other assistance on both sides of the border for those seeking a safe life for themselves and their children. I have first-hand experience seeing these organizations in full operation. I want this work to celebrate, educate and add to those who donate for this greater good.
CALL TO ACTION
Border Angels: www.borderangels.org
No More Deaths/No Más Muertes: www.nomoredeaths.org
Sabrina Zarco is an award-winning autistic Chicana queer multi-media artivist. She uses her unique way of experiencing the world fused with cultural influences to create her artwork. Sabrina’s unconventional works tell stories, show dreams, and visually articulates how she experiences the world. Her distinctive visual processes of creating art manifest in a variety of multi-textural media with a primary focus on using fiber as a base. As an outsider artist, her work is a visual journal of her walk as a part of marginalized communities. Sabrina’s work can be found in public and private collections, national, and international exhibits. www.SabrinaZarco.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Liliana Hueso
WONDER AND HUMILITY *
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was always enamored with the natural world. Bucking the norm, she abandoned an English degree to eventually earn a Master’s degree in Zoology.
Hired to write, Carson went on to become the Editor-in-Chief for all the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientific publications. On the side, Carson used knowledge gained on the job to write lyrical descriptions of sea life. Her books about the ocean made Carson famous and wooed a public enthralled with laboratory sciences back to the wonders of their native land. She challenged readers to engage with the world with “wonder and humility,” believing that if we did, we would be less likely to try to dominate nature.
Carson’s final book, Silent Spring, explained the dangers and consequences of widespread commercial pesticide use to ecosystems and humans. This book is credited with galvanizing the public and launching the environmental movement that led to the US ban of DDT, despite the chemical industry’s attempts to discredit Carson’s science and conclusions.
Rachel Carson died of breast cancer two years after Silent Spring was published, leaving a philosophical legacy that humans are part of the ecosystem and must learn to live productively in balance with nature.
CALL TO ACTION
Consider supporting any organization that demands rigorous standards of itself and its partners as they work to find a collaborative and productive balance between the needs of humans and the needs of the environment. The Conservation Fund is one such organization. www.conservationfund.org
Vivien approaches art from multiple perspectives, including as a creator and educator. Creatively, Vivien is a writer, artist, and photographer whose work has been published and exhibited nationally. Her visual art is characterized by clean, color-saturated compositions. She has a particular fondness for nature photography, but her textile work addresses whatever is front of mind. Vivien’s docent work requires that she lead dialogue-based tours for museum guests. As docent trainer, Vivien supports the curatorial staff by conducting research, and preparing and presenting educational material to the docent corps. www.sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com
* Pieces marked with this blue asterix
are part of the traveling exhibition.