Black history woven into fabric featured in Texarkana art exhibit

Black History Month

TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – TRAHC’s Texarkana African American Committee (TAAC) is celebrating its 19th Annual Art Exhibit with over 30 quilts, fiber arts, and fabrics featured on display.

“It was the community getting together: Mothers, daughters, fathers, sons. It was a family affair,” said Trevia West, Chair of the Exhibit Court.

Quilts and wearable arts are pieces of fabric that were once used for economic trade, recreation, and for slaves to keep warm during the winter months.

Now,  historic heirlooms from local, regional, and national artists are on display in a Texarkana Regional Arts Center to highlight black heritage in the 19th Annual Regional Celebration of African American Artists Exhibit.

“Help us remember what quilts mean to us. And they tell so much the story of who we are even at this time,” said West.

The value of quilting art has grown significantly over the years. A few pieces from a well-known Black artist, Faith Ringgold, are priced at $150,000 today.

“African American quilters have a huge role in elevating quilting from being a craft in America to being considered a fine art,” said art exhibit curator Kay Thomas.

Each quilt has its own unique design and pattern; some may have taken days, months, or years to complete.

“As the TAAC committee approached me with this idea, that each quilt is shown flat like a painting. Because they are paintings in fabric,” Thomas said.

Many wearable art and quilt designs are inspired by stories. This exhibit has vintage pieces from families that date back to 1931.

“Quilting has had a long history in many families. It’s art that we hope will be passed down from generation to generation,” said West.

The TRAHC African American Committee says the purpose of the exhibit is to educate, entertain, and empower.

This exhibit is open until April 10, 2021, at the Texarkana Regional Arts Center. You can see it every Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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