African American quilt show coming to Antique DaysBy CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,
Tue, 10/17/2017 - 5:00pm
The fifth annual Antique Days Festival will take place in Yazoo City on Saturday, featuring many vendors and craftsmen who specialize in making goods by hand, just like in the old days.
One exciting exhibit coming to Antique Days this year is the African-American Quilt Show, which will display handmade quilts by locally talented African-American seamstresses such as Otesia Harper, as well as other artists around Mississippi and out of state.
At 92-years-old, Otesia Harper has made a name for herself by expressing her creativity through a needle and thread. Mrs. Harper's work is displayed in Yazoo City at Ricks Memorial Library and inside the Sam B. Olden Museum on the second floor of the Triangle Cultural Center. One of her greatest achievements is to have a Coca-Cola quilt displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
Some of Mrs. Harper's quilts feature colorful African American designs, while others were created from ideas she got from magazines. She has even created special ordered quilts for people from as far as New York and Pennsylvania.
In an Interview with Life in the Delta Magazine, Otesia mentioned that she doesn't quilt much anymore. Instead, she enjoys the memories revolving around the countless quilts she made over the last 80 years, and the few remaining masterpieces she keeps with her at home.
The African American Quilt Show will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Saturday, October 21, inside the newly air-conditioned Triangle Cultural Center. Admission for the event is $2.00 per person. Proceeds from the event will go to sponsor the programs held inside the Triangle, including the school of dance, elementary art classes, piano classes, a drama club, and museum tours on the second floor of the building.
While the quilt show will exhibit many hand-made quilts by local artists, there will also be other quilts for sale to the public.
Phyllis Haynes, organizer of the Antique Days Festival, said that local events like this are a great way to showcase the work that these African American ladies have accomplished, since many of them go unrecognized in larger quilt shows around the country.
"I've had calls thanking me for doing this because there are no other Quilt Shows like this in the State of Mississippi," said Haynes.
Haynes also mentioned that shows like this might inspire younger generations to dig deeper into their heritage and explore what their ancestors did many years ago.