Festival of Quilts weave rich tapestry of emotion

FLINT — Experience the breathtaking display of emotion Sept. 10-12 as the Flint Festival of Quilts returns to the city to celebrate its 21st year.

“We have an incredible line-up of festivals each summer, but this one might just be my favorite,” smiles Greg Fiedler, President and CEO of the Greater Flint Arts Council. “While quilting dates back to ancient Egypt, it blossomed in America and became an art form that we can truly call our own. And the artists we attract to our festival in Flint are among the top in the nation. ”

This year, the festival features four different venues throughout downtown. As in the past, each location has its own special theme with the quilts themselves covering a wide range of storylines and histories.

Be Colorful is the theme of the Flint African American Quilters Guild selected for their 26th Annual Exhibit, once again showcasing their artistry at the Flint Public Library. On Saturday, award-winning fiber artist and educator

Valerie C. White will present a lecture sharing her passion for textiles and teaching.

At the Greater Flint Arts Council this year will be an exhibit of male quilters juried and curated by artist Roy Mitchell Jr., known in quilting circles as “The Watermelun Man.” This show titled Brothas Doing Our Thing represents a broad perspective of male quilters and their artistic visions.

The First Presbyterian Church will host the Sacred Threads Exhibition and at Hoffman’s Deco Deli will be the De’VIA Quilts. De’VIA stands for Deaf View

Image Art. With three active Deaf Quilt Clubs, it is believed that the Flint area has the highest number of deaf quilters per capita worldwide.

“All four venues are uniquely riveting and you really need to visit each one,” said Fiedler. “It’s an unbelievably emotional experience.”

Admission to all exhibits and displays is free.

On Saturday, the Greater Flint Arts Council will be hosting the Watermelun Man’s workshop covering couching techniques as well as using strings of floss and how to assemble the watermelunman babies pattern. There are a limited number of $15 kits available for those who want to participate.

Greater Flint Arts Council (GFAC) programs and services are designed to engage the community in creative processes, support the work of Michigan artists, develop sustainability in arts agencies throughout Genesee County and bordering communities, aid in the development of new programs and new careers in the arts, increase awareness of the vast number of artistic/cultural offerings, enhance arts education at all levels, stimulate local economic growth and showcase to the nation the beauty and livability of the greater Flint community.

GFAC provides support services and we are also presenters as we strive to create professional venues for Michigan artists to build their careers and enhance economic development. At GFAC we believe that emerging art can transform our community and we can be instrumental in creating an environment where art can emerge.

Strategically located in the center of Genesee County in downtown Flint, Greater Flint Arts Council operates from an 18,000 square foot storefront on the main street. — G.G.

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