The Airing of the Quilts Festival will be taking place in Gee’s Bend this weekend and attendees will come from throughout the Southeast to enjoy the festival.
See below from The Airing of the Quilts Festival site for more on this incredible annual event.
Join the Gee’s Bend community in this annual celebration of its generations-old quiltmaking tradition, featuring quilt displays and sales, workshops, guided tours, panel discussions, food, music, and more.
Known for bold, improvisational designs and use of recycled fabrics, Gee’s Bend’s patchwork quilting tradition, which began in the 19th Century, continues to this day. Hailed by the New York Times as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced,” Gee’s Bend quilts constitute a crucial chapter in the history of American art and today are in the permanent collections of over 30 leading art museums.
“At this festival, you’ll get introduced to the quilters and to the lifestyle of Gee’s Bend. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get hands-on experience, from workshops to storytelling, and learn what our community is really like. We have a whole different language here, and this is your chance to learn it. A common phrase around here is, ‘You never meet a stranger when you come to Gee’s Bend.’ We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our community at the Airing of the Quilts Festival.”
Exhibitions at the Gee’s Bend Welcome Center explore the history and contemporary life of Gee’s Bend. This year’s exhibitions include:
A showcase featuring the collaborations between Marfa Stance, a British brand, and the Gee’s Bend quilters facilitated through a partnership with Nest, a nonprofit organization supporting responsible and creative engagement with artisans. The collaborations included 38 women from Gee’s Bend, ages 19 to 86, and already has plans for a third collection.
The exhibit will feature one-of-a-kind homewares, garments, and visual storytelling from the October 2022 Collection and works commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
A one-day-only display of the 1970s Rachel Carey George quilt featured as the key image for the 2023 Airing of the Quilts Festival. George’s “My Way” quilt was constructed out of Sears Corduroy fabric from the nearby Freedom Quilting Bee, which had a contract to manufacture pillow covers for Sears, Roebuck and Company in the 1970s.
The History of Gee’s Bend from 1816 to the Present. Beginning with the settlement of a cotton plantation by Joseph Gee in 1816, through the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, to heralded exhibitions at major art museums worldwide, this exhibit will touch on key moments in the history of the storied community of Gee’s Bend.