The artistry of Phyllis Stephens is on point in the quilted creation entitled “Tied to Blessedness.” A ballet dancer’s three-dimensional skirt brings the eye forward then draws the eye to an intricate combination of pattern and movement behind the central figure. A fluid ribbon in the dancer’s hands connects her a golden light—the source of her blessedness.
Stephens acknowledges she is blessed, and her abilities are a gift from God,
“In Him there is nothing to add, and nothing
can be taken away, He is a true and solid source”.
Phyllis Stephens is an award-winning fifth generation quilt maker, considered by critics to be a Master of African-American Story Quilts. Simply stated her quilts are inspirational. She has quilted professionally for more than thirty years. Her quilts have been displayed in some of the most prestigious museums and galleries in the world; such as The Museum of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky and the Fine Art Museum of Ghana Africa. It was a special honor for her to show in Ghana, the fabric capital of the world.
In 2010, Stephens was awarded by the Georgia House of Representatives, a resolution for her art portfolio entitled “For Crying Out Loud” a tribute to the Children of the Civil Rights Movement.
Her design process and techniques are cutting edge. Stephens’ work has been described as innovative and fresh. Her color selections and fabric choices are unmatched. She states, “My love affair with the art of quilt making is a seed planted inside me by every generation I have knowledge of. Once when I gave my grandmother a quilt she proudly proclaimed, I quilted with the same form and sense of her grandmother. The stories I tell in my quilts live deep inside of me. Some works are a collaboration of many stories brought together to make one piece. While others depict defining moments I have chosen to pay close attention to.
Quilting is sometimes thought of as a hard, long, drawn-out process. Not for me. I am an heir to the culture and value of the African tradition of quilt making. The long process allows me time to travel to some of the sweetest places in my memories. Like the quilting parties I enjoyed as a little girl. It was there that sewing hands and tall tales flowed one in the same. I enjoy every part, every process and the special privilege of creating a quilt”.
The phenomenal and thriving artist Lina Iris Viktor will present her first major museum exhibit at The New Orleans Museum of Art, opening this fall. Titled Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred, the installation will be on display from October 5th, 2018 through January 6th, 2019.
A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred will feature an entirely new body of work created by Viktor that investigates the narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of Liberia. Throughout the exhibit, the artist reimagines the rich history of Liberia’s colonial past. “Liberia appears in Viktor’s re-imagining as a kind of paradise lost, and as a cautionary tale,” said Allison Young, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, her work transcends this narrative, revealing how examples of visual culture—from Dutch Wax fabrics to national emblems to gestures in the history of portraiture—exist as remnants of these colonial histories.”
Based in New York, the British-Liberian artist is highly known for her luxurious large-scale paintings and installations that are adorned with gold and include references to both modern and traditional West African culture.
“NOMA is pleased to present Lina Iris Viktor’s exhibition, and to foreground a lesser-known history of which the American South was a part,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “In this series, Viktor offers her unique perspective on a complex and multifaceted history.”
Programs related to the exhibition feature conversations led by Lina Iris Viktor and Allison Young, a film series, and a special talk with Viktor and curator Renée Mussai. For more information, please visit NOMA READ MORE........