Exhibition: Quilting the Education Program, 10/27-1/31

Quilting the Education Program features digital artwork created from 2006 to the present for the Gottesman Libraries Education Program. A series of digital quilts are sewn with the advertisements for a wide range of library sponsored events and activities -- conveying richness and depth of value, tone, and nature of program offering through choice of color, fabric, texture, and pattern. We select, piece, and stitch together concerts and news displays; book talks; Socratic conversations; the University Seminar on Innovation in Education; guest speakers; film screenings and focus groups; and instructional offerings. Through visual representation we celebrate authorship and film production, model discourse and dialogue, musical performance and technology innovation, teaching and learning.

The Gottesman Libraries Education Program began in September 2005 and grew in response to the call to develop the library as a social and intellectual gathering place for members of the Teachers College community in a newly renovated building. Its goal is to inform students, faculty and staff about the latest thinking in education, in ways that engage members of the community with one another and with a broad range of educational experts.

The medium of quilting is particularly appropriate to depict past and ongoing events of the Gottesman Libraries Education Program. Quilts are made by hand, often collaboratively and sometimes in memory of loved ones, or to express political views, as seen with the contemporary AIDS Memorial Quilt. Women's quilting bees have proven popular social events, particularly in the history of America. While highlighting the communal, collaborative nature of the Education Program, the digital quilts use familiar materials (similar to scraps of clothing in the traditional art) and document the history of events which evolve over time. They demonstrate the diversity of offerings and participants through the use of manifold patches, colors, and textures. The quilts, like those throughout history, can be viewed as both communal and personal, aesthetic and functional.

The images that are used in the quilts have been streamed onto the library's website and e-boards; re-sized for inclusion on the college's e-boards; reformatted and printed as posters; and archived in PocketKnowledge, the social digital repository for Teachers College.

We take note of an interview by Jake Biddington of Biddington's Art Gallery, with Mrs. Bryce Reveley, owner of Gentle Arts, a textile conservation service in New Orleans: "The quilt was a document of how a community lived. Each patch had a personality all its own. It was a piece of living history--and the townspeople understood its importance."

It is our hope that this exhibition will serve to promote current events, as it provides a unique visual opportunity for people to learn more about the origins and thinking behind the Gottesman Libraries Education Program.

--Amelia Epp, Quilt Maker, and Jennifer Govan, Curator

Where: Kasser Family Exhibition Space, 1st floor

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