This morning our street is littered with the remains of last night’s firecrackers. (Our neighbor takes his annual festive explosions very seriously!) There is still a slight scent of burnt gunpowder. A summer scent, mixed with the scent of charcoal grills.
I am remembering riding my bike in the alleyway behind the row house where my family lived until I was in second grade.
We had a basement. It was was divided; the front area was used for playroom and my Dad’s office desk. The back area had a washing machine and the furnace and it was terrifying..
Like every person, my story contains individual images and life snapshots. And, like every person, my individual slice is part of the bigger pie, events and trends that I was part of but that were beyond me. My parents were married after WWII and our row house home in Rodgers Forge, Baltimore was the first they could afford to own. I was a baby boomer. Our family trajectory followed the path that could be charted, in retrospect, as part of bigger patterns studied by economists and sociologists.
So much material to work with!
I am so pleased to be a part of the exhibit, “America Is…” at the Touchstone Gallery in Washington DC. Looking at the list of artists and artworks, I can tell that this show will reflect stories of all kinds and images of all kinds. My work was inspired by my childhood row house home. It may hang next to the work of someone whose story completely different from mine. How exciting! How very like America, at our best.
When I created the art quilt that will be in the exhibit, I was interested in the difference between the outside and the (invisible) inside. In row house neighborhoods, outwardly all the homes are the same. On the inside, of course, all the families are not at all the same.
I used mismatched windows, some unexpected color combinations, lively patterns in hand-printed fabrics, and unifying patterns of stitch, which both defined areas and built bridges between areas.
This neighborhood – very much like our country – is defined by the title: “Every One Has a Different Story.”
For more information about this quilt, you can find it on my website, HERE
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