No doubt about it, Faith Ringgold was “the” star among stars at the 1st National African American Quilters Convention held July 12-15 in Lawrence Kansas. After more than 60 years as a professional artist and quilter, Ringgold is a standard bearer for quilters,

She lead the way, as she took quilting from just a Sunday afternoon social gathering for women to an art form that deserved a spot in some of the world’s most prestigious museums.

Ringgold presence at the convention, easily mixing with the other quilters, set a tone for the three-day convention. She willingly shared and gave advice, as did the other talented lecturers and instructors. Even novices helped novices as every gathered to become better in their craft.

The exhibits were also miraculous. Check out the photos below, those pictures hanging on the wall aren’t paintings, they’re quilts. All beautifully pieced by the hands of some of this country’s finest quilters and many of them were there.

The new National African American Quilters Convention was organized by quilter Marla Jackson through her non-profit Marla’s quilts. What Jackson pulled off was the largest gathering of African American quilting standouts, exhibits of the works of Black quilting legends and an opportunity for quilters and artists, beginners and advanced, to learn from some of the field’s greatest.

Conventions, especially African American ones, with lecturers and presenters of this caliber are typically the draw of larger cities on the coasts or somewhere down south. But Jackson wanted to bring the convention to Lawrence, her hometown. The convention was a big success for Jackson, attendees and economically for the City of Lawrence.

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