March 2021 meeting with guest speaker Beverly Y. Smith

Our March 13 meeting featured guest speaker Beverly Y. Smith, joining us via Zoom from her studio in Charlotte, NC. Also joining us were several members of the African American Quilters of Baltimore (AAQB). Melinda Newton, who first suggested we reach out to Beverly about a lecture, gave the introduction and facilitated the Q&A. Many thanks to Beverly, Glenda Richardson of the AAQB, and Melinda for a wonderful afternoon! Thank you also to Melissa Reilly for taking photos. 

If you're not familiar with Beverly's textile work, it is absolutely a must-see for every quilter! All of her quilts are mixed media works of art, with a combination of graphite drawings, paint, patchwork, embroidery, and various found objects and family heirlooms. Some examples of objects she's incorporated into her quilts: her own graduation cap in The Beauty of Their Dreams; vintage flour sacks and lace in Flour Power; and cattle sacks in Cherry Picking. Each quilt also tells a story, whether of Beverly's ancestors or, more broadly, the Black experience in the American South.  

We were lucky to see Beverly's latest work, Uppity: The Blacker the Berry the Sweeter the Juice hanging up right behind her at her beautiful stained-glass studio in a church in the historic Brooklyn neighborhood, a Black enclave of Charlotte. If anyone is planning a visit to South Carolina in the next few months, it's currently on display at the Sumter County Gallery of Art through June 18, 2021 and would be incredible to see in person. 

Words just don't do Beverly's quilts justice -- go to her web site and see them for yourself! And hopefully we can all see them in person some day. Thanks again, Beverly!

Below photo: Flour Power and Beverly Smith. Photo by Melissa Reilly.