A Season of Quilts is a multi-faceted program that spans three months, two venues and four exhibits, and uses the art of quilting to tell inspiring stories that encourage the creation of a world that works for everyone.
The first event in the project is The Threads that Bind, opening at the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage Feb. 16 from 1 -3 p.m. Admission is free.
A display of original quilts created by members of the Wiregrass Quilter’s Guild is the focal point of the exhibit. Each quilt depicts the life story of an individual who has overcome challenges to live a meaningful life.
The quilters and those featured on the quilts will be present to share their stories, discuss the making of the quilts and demonstrate this traditional art form. There will also be an opportunity to share your thoughts about a world that works for everyone through participation in a shared project.
Included in the exhibit will be a quilt created by Jane Rodgers of Irwinville to celebrate the life story of Wayne Evans, a 68-year-old who is wheelchair bound and who endures other challenges.
Despite his disabilities, Evans loves Elvis, wolfs down hamburgers and cheers for the Georgia Bulldogs. His life, shown through colors and stitched patterns on Jane’s quilt, is symbolic of how people of all abilities share similar interests – threads which link us together as human beings in a shared community.
Another quilt depicts the story of a well known local artist, Ronald Goodman of Fitzgerald. Designed and stitched by Rae Giddens Elder, this “work of heart” reveals Goodman’s courageous journey from a teenage spinal injury causing the loss of use of his arms and legs to a life creating beautiful wildlife paintings. Some of Goodman’s art works will be included in the exhibit.
The star of Caroline Benefield’s quilt is Addie Wilcox of Tifton, whose family legacy includes a great aunt who was a slave as a child and who is depicted on the quilt.
This ancestor, along with the inspiration of her mother, father and grandmother, all represented on the quilt, gave Wilcox the strength of character needed to accept the loss of 8 of the 15 children she birthed, and set the strong work ethic of her life.
Wilcox is famous for her fine Southern cooking, a talent honed feeding her children and grandchildren. Centering the quilt is a table filled with images of delicious foods which Wilcox, now 88, still serves on Sundays to her many friends and family.
Other quilters are Ann Barker, Florence Donnan, Rachelle Fowler, Mary Harmon, Ann Joyce, Margo Martin, Diane Morgan and Bonnie Reilly. Each quilter has chosen a person whose life’s journey has inspired the original quilt created for the exhibit.
Additional traditional quilts will also be displayed, including a Quilt of Valor made for a member of the armed forces, and one designed especially for the Methodist Children’s Home.
The exhibit and activities will continue Feb. 18 -22: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 1-5 p.m.; Thursday, 1- 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.
The next event in The Threads that Bind phase is an exhibit of story quilts by New York artist/activist Beth Mount, opening March 1 at the museum and continuing with many related activities through March 22.
A Season of Quilts: The Threads that Bind is a collaboration between the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage, Diversified Enterprises, the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, and the Wiregrass Quilter’s Guild, with support from private patrons, Georgia Power, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Tifton- Tift County Tourism Association.
For complete details of all events in the Season of Quilts, go to www.tiftonmuseum.org or contact Marion Curry at 229-386-3560. The museum is located at 255 Love Avenue in downtown Tifton.