Textiles and Social Justice

Dr. Chawne Kimber
Thursday, March 21st, 4pm
Galanti Lounge, Robert Carothers Library

Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies as the annual Eleanor Carlson Lecture

If you would like to join Dr. Kimber for “Speaking in Patchwork: A Workshop with Dr. Chawne Kimber” on Friday, March 22nd from 9am-12pm, please register here. The workshop is free and open to the public, but will be limited to 12 people.

Chawne Kimber is a textile artist who mainly stitches quilts and embroidery that are shown in museums, galleries, and festivals in the USA and Australia. Her work has been acquired by the Petrucci Family Foundation, Michigan State University, the International Quilt Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. 

Through cultivation of cotton in rural eastern Alabama, some of her ancestors unwillingly participated in building the United States. Inspired by quilts made by her great grandmother and other relatives in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Kimber interprets traditional patchwork forms in an improvisational style that links to the ancestral works, using intentionally sourced cotton from vintage and discarded clothing and sustainable and labor-supportive companies.  

In a timeless fashion, Kimber reflects on current events and the dimensions of her identity in the quilt form. When she includes text in her work, she does so through carefully crafted, brief “slow poetry.” Kimber asks viewers to grapple with women’s work, gender dynamics, and race in historical and contemporary perspectives. Warm and safe utilitarian quilts swaddle cold hard truths.

Kimber’s lecture will take a look at some historical examples and then romp through her own work. Kimber’s quilts use the lens of identity and difference to confront current social conflicts and reflect on her life in the US today. 

When not manipulating cotton, Kimber is a dean and a professor of mathematics at a small liberal arts university in the Mid-Atlantic US. 

Textiles and Social Justice

Innovations in Storytelling Speaker Series
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