Meet Beverly Y. Smith

I am a mixed-media fiber artist. I choose to express myself through quilts because of their personal connection to my ancestors and Southern roots. Through my subject matter, I explore a new narrative of equal rights and opportunities for all genders, and specifically giving a voice to women and girls. The female figures in my quilts engage viewers in a direct gaze – an evocation of solidarity – as if to say, “I see you, so I know you see me.” By featuring women and girls in my quilts, I aspire to promote, honor, and celebrate perspectives of women across geographic, racial, and ideological lines, all the while paying homage to those who came before me. My quilts acknowledge the strength, preciseness, and ingenuity of traditional quilts. I also expand upon these traditions by adding my own aesthetics. The strong correlations I make with African textiles and my grandmother’s quilts certainly impacted my own quilt styles. My grandmother taught me that the smallest piece of fabric can hold generations of truth. Therefore, it is characteristic of my works to contain nostalgic materials, and re-claimed garments.

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