by John Stoehr
Four quilters from Charleston and the Lowcountry have been chosen to create quilts for an exhibit in Washington, D.C., that will coincide with the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Cookie Washington, Peggy Hartwell, Catherine Lamkin, and Marlene O'Bryant Seabrook were tapped for a show called Quilts for Obama: Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President.
The show will take place at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. The opening reception is Jan. 11. It runs through the end of the month. The exhibit is being curated by Roland Freeman, founder of The Group for Cultural Documentation and a long time advocate for African American quilters and their work.
Washington's quilt is called "The Hope of the New Day Begun" (detail of hands pictured). In the small inner black circle, she says she beaded the word "hope" in 30 languages.
"I'm making a quilt for that tall thin black man who dresses well," Washington joked in an interview. "You know the one."
Washington had just 28 days to make her quilt. It would normally take seven weeks. She worked day and night, skipped cooking on Thanksgiving, and pushed other projects aside until it was done.
"I'm fairly pleased with it," she said. "I have hope that this country and this new administration will take the country in the right direction. I'm so please to be able to share my artistic vision with America."
(photo above courtesy of James Moskow)