February 13, 2012

Jacqueline Bishop: Conversation Quilts @ Meredith Art Gallery

Virginia State University’s Meredith Art Gallery will host The Conversation Series, a collection of 24 quilts by Jamaican visual artist and writer Jacqueline Bishop, on loan to VSU from Jan. 30 through March 8, 2012. The artist will speak about the exhibition at an Opening Reception on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in the Meredith Gallery, located in Harris Hall.

Bishop blends poetry and textiles as she celebrates the landscape of her homeland and the creative life of her great grandmother and other women. While visiting VSU, she will visit several classes and make a presentation at the university’s Writing/e-Portfolio Studio (Harris Hall 113) on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at 2:00 PM. The Bishop exhibition and presentations are being sponsored by the department of music, art and design, Honors Program, Quality Enhancement Plan and the Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education.

The Conversation Series began with several quilts originally stitched by Bishop’s great grandmother and repaired or finished by Bishop as a tribute to her great grandmother after death. The pieces in Odes to the Mountains of Jamaica celebrate the landscape of the artist’s native country and facilitate a means of communicating with the unknown textile makers of Jamaica. The Hand of Fatima quilts incorporate Moroccan women’s embroidery as Bishop pays tribute to the unseen and unsung work of women. The Homage Series utilizes both African and French textiles as the artist traces the Triangular Trade Route from Africa to the Americas to Europe and back to Africa as she focuses on women’s collective experiences. The pieces are paired with poignantly written odes and together serve as an extended conversation among women across generations.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Bishop currently teaches writing at New York University. She is a former Writer-in-Residence for the Teachers and Writers Collaborative of the New York City Department of Education and founding editor of CALABASH: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters. She earned a MFA in Creative Writing and a MA in English from New York University; she also attended the L’Université de Paris in France and Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Her visual art has been exhibited in New York City as well as in Belgium, Italy and Morocco.

The former Fulbright Scholar has authored five books: Snapshots from Istanbul (Poems), Writers Who Paint/Painters Who Write: Three Jamaican Artists (Non-fiction), The River’s Song (Novel), Fauna(Poems), and My Mother Who Is Me: Life Stories From Jamaican Women in New York (Non-fiction). She is completing a documentary film entitled “I Came Here by a Dream: The Jamaican Intuitives,” which explores a talented group of untrained Jamaican artists, and is writing a novel.

For more information contact Dr. Thomas Larose, Department of Music, Art & Design (tlarose@vsu.edu); or Dr. Maxine Sample, Director, Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education, (msample@vsu.edu).

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