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Writer,Quilt maker,Folkartist, from Freestone County, Tx.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Black Threads: Dr. Gladys-Marie Fry - In Memory

Black Threads: Dr. Gladys-Marie Fry - In Memory: Dr. Gladys-Marie Fry I remember the first time I read Dr. Gladys-Marie Fry's book, Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Ant...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015




Sherry A. Byrd, an African American  Folkart/Quiltmaker  from Freestone County, Texas creates quilts of International acclaim. Six generations of quilt makers are in her family. Her works have appeared in many important exhibits.


AMHERST (MA). Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts.
Something Else to See: Improvisational Bordering Styles in African American Quilts.
February 1-March 15, 1997.

ATLANTA (GA). High Museum of Art.
No Two Alike: African-American Improvisational Quilts.
September, 1996-February,1997.
27 pp. exhib. cat., color illus. of quilts with their makers. 

AUSTIN (TX). Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

It Ain't Braggin' if it's True.

April, 2001.

Group exhibition. Included: Sherry Byrd (reversible story quilt HOMEGROWN).

AUSTIN (TX). Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

It (Still) Ain't Braggin' if it's True.
Spring 2006 
5 year anniversary exhibition
Group exhibition. Included: Sherry Byrd (reversible story quilt JAZZ WITH A NEEDLE AND THREAD).

CHICAGO (IL). Mayor's Office, City of Chicago.

The Chicago Public Art Guide.

Chicago (IL): Dept. of Public Affairs,.

92 pp., approx. 150 color illus., intro. text by Gregory G. Knight. Contains index of works by region, branch library installations, special projects, map, index of artists with titles of work. Includes color illus. 

RICHMOND (CA). Richmond Art Center.

Amazing Wonders: Quilts by African-Americans of the Northern California Region.
January 26-March 13, 2010.

Group exhibition. Curated by Kim Curry-Evans. Artists include: Elizabeth Browder, Blanche Brown, Sherry Byrd, Loretta Cohen, Marion Coleman, Jamie Gladney-Presley, Marilyn Handis, Benita Jones, Niambi Kee, Marilyn Lacey, Debbie Mason, Patricia Montgomery, Angie Tobias, Ann Seals, Nerlene Taylor, LaQuita Tummings, Julia Vitero, Dolores Vitero Presley, Johnnie Wade, and others.

SAN FRANCISCO (CA). Craft & Folk Art Museum.

Who'd a Thought it: Improvisation in African-American Quiltmaking.
December 31, 1987-February 28, 1988.
88 pp. exhib. cat., 94 illus., including 48 mostly full-page color plates, plus 30 reference illus. including photos of the quilt makers, biogs., notes, bibliog. Texts by Robert Farris Thompson and Eli Leon. A major contribution to the consideration of traditional heritage vs. personal innovation in the African American quiltmakingtradition. Artists include: Irene Bankhead, Cora Lee Hall Brown, Mary Lue Brown,Monin Brown, Sherry Byrd, Charles Cater, Alberta Collins, Odessa Doby, Willia EtteGraham, Emma Hall, Bettie Phillips, Mattie Pickett, Eula Thomas, Angelia Tobias, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Gussie Wells, Arbie Williams, et al. Traveling exhibition. [Review: Ann Barry, NYT, November 16, 1989.] 4to, wraps. First ed.

SAN FRANCISCO (CA). Museum of Craft and Folk Art.
Will the Circle be Unbroken: Four Generations of African-American Quilts.
May 4-July 23, 2006.
Group exhibition. Curated by Eli Leon. Eleven improvisational quilts, made by four generations of a single Texas family, spanning nearly a century in the lives of Gladys Henry, Laverne Brackens, Sherry Byrd, and Bara Byrd. Extensive oral history from each quiltmaker, a photograph and biography of each are included in the exhibition. [Traveled to Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, VT, August 11-November 25, 2007.]

WINSTON-SALEM (NC). Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University.
Models in the Mind: African Prototypes in American Patchwork.
42 pp. exhib. cat., illus., biogs. with photos of most of the quiltmakers, bibliog. Text by Eli Leon noting numerous parallels between African fabric motifs and familiar American patchwork designs. Quiltmakers mentioned include: Irene Bankhead, Cora Lee Hall Brown, Mary Lue Brown, Sherry Byrd, Charles Cater, Willie Mae Chatman, Laura Jackson Culp, Aurelia Foster, Willia Ette Graham, Emily Kirby, Ernestine Jordan, Carrie Sue Lewis, Rose R. McDowell, Bessie Moore,Dymon Moreland, Bettie Phillips, Mattie Pickett, Lucy Sims, Anny Bell Simon, Flossie Sullivan, Maple Swift, Mary Thompson, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Sarah Turnage(no photo), Johnnie A. Wade, Maudra Walker, Rosalyn Walker (no photo), Gussie Wells, Arbie Williams. [Traveled to Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA, 1994.] 4to, wraps.

YELLOW SPRINGS (OH). Shirley-Jones Gallery.
Approximate Measure, Improvisation in African-American Quilts.
January 19-March 10, 2007.
Group exhibition. Included: Rosie Lee Tompkins, Gladys Henry, Laverne Brackens, Sherry Byrd, Bara Byrd, Willia Ette Graham, Irene Bankhead.

Sherry Ann

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts

CONTACT: Scott Horton, 510-229-9739, or shorton@museumca.org 
Kelly A. Koski, 510-318-8453, or kkoski@museumca.org


New Exhibition Features Stunning Contemporary Quilts Artfully Handcrafted by Five Bay Area Women 

Vibrant and Boldly Unique Quilts Expand the Notion of Craft in: 

Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts exhibition
—on view Sept 10, 2015 through Feb 21, 2016—


This September, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts, an exhibition showcasing a dynamic and visually vibrant selection of American quilts made from the mid to late 1980s to the early 2000s by five women living in the Bay Area. —The exhibition coincides with a new installation from OMCA’s extensive craft collection in the Gallery of California ,featuring complex asymmetrical patterns, the selection of quilts on view in the exhibition includes unusual materials and an improvisational creation process that include both quilter and collector.

These quilts are drawn from the collection of Oakland resident Eli Leon, who traveled the country in a van on a Guggenheim Fellowship in the 1980s, collecting the stories of quilters and their quilts.  Yo-Yos & Half Squares features 20 contemporary quilts that defy expectations and expand the notions of craft through their individual artistic expression. “We hope the exhibition alters viewers’ ideas of what a quilt can be,” says Carin Adams, Associate Curator of Art and Material Culture, whose most recent project was the highly successful SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot exhibition at OMCA last spring. 

“Looking at these 20 quilts is like entering a different world—one that is asymmetrical and tactile.

 Eli Leon’s collection is unique in the way that he was so deeply involved in the finished process,” Adams says. “His story is interwoven with those of the quilters. 

The show will also feature one quilt Leon made in memory of his father.” And will present stories from each of the other quilt makers listed below:

Angie Tobias
Arbie Williams
Mattie Pickett
Rosie Lee Tompkins
Sherry Byrd

The exhibition illuminates how these quilts came to be, and the collaborations and relationships involved in their creation. Most of the quilters learned the craft early from their mothers and grandmothers, for whom quilting was a necessity or creative outlet. 

The quilts are highly distinct from each other and reflect the makers’ individual interests, skills, and talents, as well as Eli Leon’s vision and unique story as a collector, beginning in the early 1970s and with a large focus on AfricanAmerican quilters. 

These artworks feature a variety of materials from stiff 1970s polyester to velvet and glittery textiles the late Rosie Lee Tompkins (the quilt-making pseudonym of Effie Mae Howard) called “Christmas fabric,” these quilts each tell a unique story. Boldly unique in construction and design, the quilts are unique artworks in and of themselves. 

Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts is on view in the Oakland Museum of California’s Gallery of California Art September 12, 2015, through February 21, 2016. 

The exhibition is made possible in part by  generous support from the Simpson Family. 

You are sincerely invited to set aside time to visit and explore this unique visual delicacy and delightful experience of " M-provisational "artistic creativity.

Sherry Ann



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