Angelina College Gallery to Host Artist Brown in March Exhibition
Angelina College will host artist Kendra Brown’s “Blanket Statements” exhibition in a gallery scheduled to run from March 6 through April 11 in the Angelina Center for the Arts Gallery on the AC campus.
An artist’s reception will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7 inside the ACA foyer.
Brown’s unique talents and vision will highlight the place of what would seem like a simple quilt as it exists within American life. Using various media forms – including a “combination of photography, watercolor, and screen printing techniques” – Brown in an artist’s statement said it is her “aim to illuminate quilt narrative and history in pieces that combine aspects of the original quilts with my own artwork.”
Drawing inspiration from quilts passed down through her family as heirlooms, Brown notes how “Early American families considered quilts precious, existing beyond just functional blankets” and states “Looking at the history of quilts has helped me appreciate the uniqueness of the ones within my own family.
“This historical craft displayed not only a gesture of hospitality but also the efforts of the maker.”
FULL ARTIST’S STATEMENT FROM KENDRA BROWN:
Early American families considered quilts precious, existing beyond just functional blankets. This historical craft displayed not only a gesture of hospitality but also the efforts of the maker. Families used them for anything from survival, evident through the block patterns used in the underground railroad; relationships, expressed through community friendship quilt patterns, wedding dowry quilts decorated with double wedding band patterns, or burial quilts; fundraising, such as barn or school print patterns; political movements, seen in the drunkards’ path pattern during the prohibition periods; to even purely art quilts in later years. Quilt block patterns provide evidence of why each quilt was made and allow the finished creations to preserve these moments of history through their blanket statements.
I consider these aspects as I make my work, letting them seep into the familial narratives I create. The inspiration comes from family quilts I inherited from grandparents and the nostalgic flora associated with them. Their beautiful designs drew me to them and stirred several questions: Who made them? When were they made? What makes these patterns important? This examination led me to expand my quilting knowledge and stitch together missing parts in my family’s history while reflecting it in my own ongoing art narrative. In my process of gathering information, I have discovered some to be feed sack quilts and friendship quilts, dating them roughly around the 1950s when my grandparents moved from Arkansas away from the majority of their family and previous community. I find value preserving this cultural experience in my work as I discover more about this art form and add to its story.
Looking at the history of quilts has helped me appreciate the uniqueness of the ones within my own family. Through a combination of photography, watercolor, and screen printing techniques, I aim to illuminate quilt narrative and history in pieces that combine aspects of the original quilts with my own artwork. The superposition of geometric quilt patterns reflects the layers of family history behind the quilt making process, while their banded nature is reminiscent of quilts being displayed in groups using standing racks. Using a combination of physical, nostalgic and modern mediums (screen printing, watercolor, film, digital photography), allows me to incorporate my own creative talents to those of previous generations. Additionally, the nature of these mediums incorporates their own form of layering, whether it is chemically overlaying images on film or using multiple colors inked over one another with screens, printers, and paint, essentially creating my own blanket statements.