Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta Pettway, and Lucy Mingo

July 20 – August 25, 2017
2015 NEA National Heritage Award Fellowship Artists
Please join us for our “First Thursday” opening reception, August 3, 2017, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Seattle Art Fair
August 3 – 6
at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.
Free passes here:

The National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships recognize individual artists for their artistic excellence and support continuing contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. The small community of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, is home to some of the most highly regarded quilt makers in America. These include Mary Lee Bendolph, Lucy Mingo, and Loretta Pettway, three of the chief quilters from the oldest living generation of artists who represent this profound cultural legacy. Described by the New York Times as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced,” the quilts are known for their improvisational and inventive quality. In 2015, the N.E.A. presented these three brilliant artists this great honor as National Heritage Fellowship award winners.

These African-American quilts relate to the ongoing tradition of American patchwork quilts in ways similar to how American jazz and rural music forms relate to European classical music. The notes are the same but the rules are altered or loosened. A comparison to music is apt because the quilt makers often refer to church music as a major source of their inspiration, “quilting and singing, singing and quilting.”

The artists’ first museum exhibition, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, traveled from 2002 to 2006 to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Whitney Museum, New York; Mobile Museum of Art; Milwaukee Art Museum; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Cleveland Museum of Art; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Information contained within this post credit to – Greg Kucera Gallery


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