Quilt art by Montgomery native Richè Richardson coming to the Rosa Parks Museum

Posted: Friday, 09 January 2014

MONTGOMERY - A collection of portrait quilts by Montgomery native Dr. Riché Richardson will be on display at Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum starting Saturday, Jan. 10.

Titled "Portraits II: From Montgomery to Paris," the exhibit collects more than 50 of Richardson's quilts spanning her artistic career, including 30 new works and the 22 quilts from her debut 2008 show. The exhibit includes series such as "Family," "Political," "Hollywood," "Paris," "Delta," "Civil Rights," "Black History," and "Alabama Women," and several large installations that draw on technology, are interactive, and incorporate features such as lighting and music.

The exhibit will be on display in the Rosa Parks Museum exhibit hall through March 27. Richardson will discuss her work during a reception and gallery talk at the museum on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

This community-based art initiative will unfold against the backdrop of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March as well as the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Richardson's mixed media appliqué art quilts are handmade, three-dimensional, and incorporate drawing, painting and a range of other intricate design techniques, including architectural elements, to produce an art quilt style that resembles portraiture.

Richardson is an associate professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University, and is a leading voice in the fields of African American literature, American literature, Southern studies and gender studies.

As a visual artist, Richardson's work has been featured in various solo and group exhibitions nationwide, including a 2013 quilt exhibition in honor of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrision. Her portrait quilt of Rosa Parks is a part of the permanent collection at the Rosa Parks Museum, given in honor of Rosa Parks' 100th memorial birthday celebration in 2013.

Her art is the subject of a short film made in Paris by Anne Crémieux and Géraldine Chouard entitled A Portrait of the Artist (2008), is featured in the Lauren Cross film The Skin Quilt Project (2010), and is the subject of a chapter of Patricia A. Turner's Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters. In January of 2009, she was invited to Paris as a "Cultural Envoy" of the U.S. Embassy in France, was featured in their "Speaker Series" through a grant from the U.S. State Department, and was honored with a talk, exhibition, film screening and reception at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence.

The exhibit hall at the Rosa Parks Museum is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information on this exhibit or other upcoming events, contact museum curator Daniel Neil at (334) 241-8701.