Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & PoliticsTo learn more about the unique perspectives and unforgettable appearances in Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, a nine-part documentary series, please refer to the links below for a downloadable PDF file with a short biography.


George R. Allen and his partner Gordon L. Wyckoff operate Raccoon Creek Antiques LLC, in Oley, Pennsylvania. Their gallery offers design-oriented sculptural and two-dimensional folk art and related examples of Americana with an emphasis on original surfaces, as well as 18th and 19th-century American ceramics, textiles and painted furniture. Their business allows them the opportunity not only to continually learn, but also to educate the public. George and Gordon share their knowledge and mutual passion for history, art and antiques by lecturing at colleges, public events and antique shows. They also have appeared on HGTV. They belong to professional organizations such as The Antiques Dealers of America and The Antique Council. Currently they are involved in promoting and teaching the public about Pennsylvania German heritage and historic craftsmanship through their involvement in regional shows, such as Antiques in the Valley and Antiques in Henry’s Field, as well as through their own antique gallery in the middle of the Oley Valley in Pennsylvania.

Clifton Anderson specializes in the material culture of the Ohio River Valley from the early Republic’s Western frontier period through the 20th century. Anderson has dealt in Kentucky art and antiques since 1973, which has afforded him a unique perspective on the region’s fine and decorative arts. His most recent research efforts with Marianne P. Ramsey culminated in exhibitions on sugar chests at The Speed Art Museum in Louisville and vernacular seating furniture at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill in Kentucky. He owns and operates Clifton Anderson Art and Antiques in Lexington, Kentucky.

Maxwell L. Anderson has been The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art since May 2006. Born and raised in Manhattan, he received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1977 with highest distinction in art history, and A.M. (1978) and Ph.D. (1981) degrees in art history from Harvard University.  His career began at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1981, where he served for five years as assistant curator of Greek and Roman art.  Anderson was decorated with the rank of Knight Commander in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1990. Since 1987 he has directed four art museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (1998-2003). During his tenure in Indianapolis, the IMA has added more than $30 million to its endowment through gifts and pledges, added significantly to the permanent collection, introduced multiple new practices to the museum field, and more than doubled attendance to 450,000 annually. He has long advocated progressive museum practices with regard to the ethical collecting of antiquities, institutional transparency, free expression, artists’ rights, and uses of new technologies. Anderson is a former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Matt Arnett is a photographer, filmmaker, curator, and researcher whose interest is in the art and culture of the African American South. He is a co-founder of Tinwood, which produces illustrated books, documentary films, exhibitions and music. Arnett served as project coordinator for Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South organized in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad of the 1996 Summer Olympics. He served as project director for the publication Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South, Volume One and Volume Two. He co-produced and co-directed with Vanessa Vadim the documentary film, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, and directed and co-produced the two-CD set How We Got Over: Sacred Songs from Gee’s Bend. He worked with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to organize the exhibition The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, which had a 13-city museum tour. Arnett also served as project director for two Gee’s Bend books. His recent projects include the exhibition and book Thornton Dial in the 21st Century and Purvis of Overtown, an award-winning feature-length documentary with accompanying exhibitions and books. Matt is a graduate of Emory University. He studied art history and African American studies.

John Begley is an artist and curator in Louisville, Kentucky. He currently heads the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute galleries and critical and curatorial studies program. The founding director of the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and an 18-year director of the Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA), Begley has produced hundreds of exhibitions, including shows that have toured the Midwest and South, as well as internationally. Begley received Louis Comfort Tiffany and Getty Museum Management Institute Fellowships, and he oversaw the growth of the LVAA. He also has been an active advocate for the visual arts; he helped found co-operative galleries (Zephyr) and a city-wide art dealers and presenters organization (LOOK), and he worked on establishing a city public art program (MCOPA). He serves on numerous community and regional arts advisory boards and panels and is an adjudicator for state, regional and national arts granting agencies, including the IMLS as well as individual visual art organizations. Begley maintains an active individual studio practice that combines a variety of his interests and training, including drawing, printmaking, book arts, installation and intermedia combinations. He has a B.F.A. with Distinction, University of New Mexico, 1969 and an M.F.A., Indiana University, 1975.

Mary Lee Bendolph (born 1935) descends from generations of accomplished quiltmakers in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. She learned to quilt from her mother and other relatives. She worked in the fields and attended school sporadically until she was 14, when she began her own family. She has seven living children. Bendolph was one of many Gee’s Benders who accompanied Martin Luther King, Jr. in his march at Camden, Alabama in 1965. In 1999, she was profiled in a Los Angeles Times Pulitzer Prize–winning article, Crossing Over: Mary Lee’s Vision. Her quiltmaking style marries a flair for improvisation to traditional construction techniques that emphasize rectangles and squares. Her small compositions of cloth build to create complicated compositions that occasionally contain humorous touches and autobiographical references. Since 2002 Bendolph has worked to promote greater understanding of her community and art form. She has appeared on television and radio programs, including PBS’s documentary The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend. Her quilts have been featured in museum and gallery exhibitions, including The Quilts of Gee’s Bend and Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. Bendolph was the featured artist in the traveling exhibition Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee’s Bend Quilts, and Beyond.

Bonnie K. Browning is a professional quiltmaker, author, editor, quilt instructor and certified quilt judge; and she has been the executive show director at the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) in Paducah, Kentucky since 1994. She has written nine quilting books, published by the AQS; and she edited the AQS Update newsletter and contributes to the AQS On Point e-newsletter. Her numerous awards include third place in the Other Techniques category for her quilt A Little Bit of Candlewicking at the 1986 AQS Quilt Show & Contest, Paducah, Kentucky. This quilt and a miniature are in the collection of The National Quilt Museum. Two of Bonnie’s quilts (the first textiles) are in the Artists of Iowa Collection, Waterloo, Iowa. Bonnie teaches quilting across the U.S., Australia, Turkey, Japan, Canada, Bali and Indonesia; and she attended the Bernina Teachers Reunion in Switzerland. She was instrumental in starting the popular Quilt Camp for Kids at the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. Bonnie served as a technical director for the AQS television show American Quilter on Lifetime Real Women. She has appeared on television programs including American Quilter, Simply Quilts, Quilts, Secrets Hidden in Fabric and Sew Young, Sew Fun on PBS.

Christina Carlos lives in Little Village, a neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago. She is a member of Las puntadas del alma/Stitches of the Soul quilt group at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Carlos has been a member since the group’s beginning in July 2008. “I enjoy the hand sewing aspects of quiltmaking. It is a form of meditation for me,” Carlos says. The quilt classes at the museum inspired her to continue her education by pursuing a B.F.A. in design.

Hollis Chatelain was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but lived 14 years of her adult life overseas in Switzerland and in four West African countries. At the end of 1996, she moved back to the United States. Her current studio and home are in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Chatelain’s educational background is in design and photography. She has worked in the arts in one form or another since 1976. She began her career as a textile artist in Africa, where her interest was sparked by the richness and beauty of African fabrics which are ever so integrated into the everyday life of Africans. Her distinctive use of colors and imagery as well as her dye-painted scenes of multicultural life have brought her international recognition. Chatelain’s work can be found in public and private collections in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and North America. In addition to creating her textile art, she lectures and leads workshops on drawing, color, dye painting, quilting and West African textiles.

Jeanne Coverdale began sewing at age 9. She sewed and tailored all kinds of apparel until she discovered quilting and was hooked. Coverdale earned her B.S. from Iowa State University in textiles and clothing. After a career in retail and marketing management, she focused her love of quilting and textiles on starting her own business, Block Party Studios, in 1989. Her husband Mike joined her growing business in 2003. Block Party Studios, Inc. has been producing quality products for quilters for nearly 20 years. The company started with homemade equipment in Coverdale’s basement, and it now operates in a new production facility and showroom in the west industrial area of Nevada, Iowa. Coverdale creates and produces originally designed screen-printed tee shirts, mugs, tote bags, signature labels, hand-printed fabrics, and the patterns to use with them. Her products are carried in independent quilt shops in all 50 states and in 20 countries, as well as in mail order catalogs and numerous web stores, including their own (

Douglas Dawson has owned Douglas Dawson Gallery in Chicago since 1983. The gallery specializes in ancient and historic ethnographic art with a special focus on non-Western textiles. Dawson’s interest in non-Western art began early when he inherited a small, private museum founded by his great-grandfather when he was ten years old. Dawson attended Antioch College in Ohio, where his education included study of ceramics in Japan and Guatemala. Prior to opening the gallery in Chicago, Dawson was a production potter on a political collective in northeast Iowa. In his gallery, which produces regular thematic exhibitions, Dawson consistently has sought to blur the line between modern Western and traditional tribal art and to bring a broader audience to the latter. In addition to gallery-produced exhibitions in Chicago, Dawson participates in several international art fairs. The gallery has placed art in most major American museums and is supported by a national clientele.

Martha Dominquez-Diaz is an educator in the Chicago Public Schools. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. Dominquez-Diaz had always considered herself a frustrated artist until she joined Las puntadas del alma/Stitches of the Soul quilt group at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Dominquez-Diaz considers herself a traditional Mexican with a “free spirited heart.” She loves the arts and continues to create.

Carol Ely, Ph.D., has worked for and consulted for museums in Boston, Charlottesville and Louisville, including the Paul Revere House, the Charles River Museum of Industry, the Virginia Discovery Museum and The Speed Art Museum. She was the first director of the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Her doctoral work at Brandeis University focused on the role of household textile production in industrializing New England. Ely is currently executive director of Historic Locust Grove, a late 18th-century plantation in Louisville, Kentucky; and she teaches in the public history program at the University of Louisville.

Susan Ball Faeder is an artist, teacher, designer and businesswoman. Faeder’s first journey to Japan took place in 1970 when she received a high school exchange scholarship. After graduating from Bucknell University in 1976 with a B.A. in Japanese studies, she returned to Japan on a graduate scholarship to further her studies in Japanese language and art. Faeder began quilting in 1983, and for the past 25 years, her original stitch and collage art has been exhibited from New York to Tokyo, and many places in between. In 1988, she combined her love of Japan and her love of quilting under the umbrella of her own business, Quilters’ Express to Japan, with the aim of teaching people about Japanese culture through the vehicle of her quilting tours. Her 20th textile tour to Japan is scheduled for November 2011. Faeder has designed five fabric collections, and she gives lectures and teaches workshops related to Japanese textiles. Quilters’ Express to Japan is a well-known vendor at select quilt events around the nation, offering beautiful Japanese fabrics and treasures for sale. The website,, showcases Faeder’s artwork, lists products for sale and more. Faeder currently resides in central Pennsylvania.

Caryl Bryer Fallert is internationally recognized for her luminous, award-winning art quilts. Her work has appeared in hundreds of national and international publications, and can be found in museum, corporate, public, and private collections in 22 states and six foreign countries. Honors include: 100 Most Important Quilts of the Twentieth Century (2000), 30 Most Influential Quiltmakers in the World (2002), Bernina of America Quilt Leadership Award (2003), AQS All American Quilter (2004), and International Quilt Festival Silver Star (lifetime achievement) Award (2006). Fallert’s quilts have won best of show at the International Quilt Festival (2009), American Quilters Society Show (1989, 1995 and 2000) and more than a dozen other national and international exhibitions. Fallert has authored two books and numerous workshops on CD-ROM. She finds her greatest joy designing and making her quilts and sharing what she has learned with students in her workshops and lectures, which have taken her to 11 countries on five continents. Her goal as a workshop leader is to help each student find the key to her/his personal creative style. In April of 2006, she opened the Bryerpatch Studio shop, gallery and workshop center in Paducah, Kentucky’s historic Lower Town Arts District.

Marcie Cohen Ferris worked in the field of museums and public history for more than 20 years. She is now an associate professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is the author of Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South (UNC Press, 2005). Matzoh Ball Gumbo was nominated for the 2006 James Beard Foundation Award in the category of Writings on Food, and was also recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals with its 2006 Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship in research and presentation. Ferris is co-editor of Jewish Roots in Southern Soil: A New History (University Press of New England, 2006). She is currently at work on a social history of food in the American South. Ferris’s research and teaching interests include the history of the Jewish South, food in American culture, American Jewish women’s history, and the material culture of the American South. In 2007, Ferris received the University of North Carolina’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Ferris is the past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

William R. Ferris is a professor of history at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the folklore curriculum. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and is widely recognized as a leader in Southern studies, African-American music and folklore. He is the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to his role at NEH, Ferris served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi where he was a faculty member for 18 years. Ferris has written and edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films, most of which deal with African-American music and other folklore representing the Mississippi Delta. He co-edited the Pulitzer Prize nominee Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, which contains entries on every aspect of Southern culture and is widely recognized as a major reference work linking popular, folk and academic cultures. His latest book is Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues. 

Pat Garthoeffner is the co-owner of Pat and Rich Garthoeffner Antiques in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The business specializes in American folk and decorative arts from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in original surface. When the business began 43 years ago, its focus was primarily early children’s toys, trains and banks. While the Garthoeffners have remained experts in this particular field, writing articles for various publications, organizing seminars and giving talks and appraisals, through the years their interests expanded, and today they are known for having a wide range of paint-decorated folk art, weather vanes, textiles and accessories. The Garthoeffners have exhibited at antique shows in locations around the country, including New York, Chicago, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. Along the way they have helped curate many quilt, rug and folk art exhibits. They are well known on the antique circuit and have sold to many dealers and decorators from across the country. “The quest for good antiques continues, and people, educated by the many shows and books filled with antique information, have a better knowledge of what they want and what they should look for if they want a quality investment.”

James Grubola is former chair of the Department of Fine Arts and director of the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville. Grubola earned his B.F.A. from Wayne State University in printmaking and drawing while focusing on the medieval drawing technique of silverpoint. He earned his M.F.A. at Indiana University Bloomington where he worked with distinguished professor Rudy Pozzatti. Grubola works in various media including printmaking, yet his true passion is for drawing.  As head of the drawing program, he has taught courses on drawing from beginning through graduate level.  In 2001, the University of Louisville’s Alumni Association presented Grubola with the Red Apple Award for excellence in teaching. In 2008 Grubola received the Trustee’s Award, one of the university’s highest annual awards, which recognizes one faculty member who has had the greatest positive impact on students. Grubola has maintained an active exhibition record highlighted by several one and two-person shows.  Grubola’s work also has been exhibited in numerous invitational and traveling exhibitions and is represented in the permanent collections of The Speed Art Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, as well as in the corporate collections of Bristol Myers Squibb, Eastman Kodak, and McGraw Hill Inc.

Kay Polson Grubola is an artist and independent curator in Louisville, Kentucky. Creating assemblages using natural found objects, Grubola’s work is a celebration of nature. Her work is also an allegory for the natural process of human life, both its ascendance and its decline. Grubola has shown her work nationally and internationally. An active curator Grubola has organized many exhibitions with topics that are conceptually challenging but also accessible to novice viewers. Her exhibits have ranged in subject matter from original concept drawings from the design studios of GM, Chrysler and Ford during the muscle car era, to a nationally recognized extravaganza of handmade dinnerware and exquisite table design, which wowed audiences for more than 20 years. Recently, Grubola designed and illustrated a children’s book Tiny Toes, written by her daughter, which received the national Gold IPPY Award in the category of best interactive children’s book of the year. Grubola was executive director of Nazareth Arts, a regional arts center on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, as well as artistic director of the Louisville Visual Art Association. For 10 years she taught drawing and printmaking at Bellarmine University and Indiana University Southeast.

Justin Hancock joined the family fabric business, Hancock’s of Paducah in Paducah, Kentucky, upon completing an M.B.A. at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in 1992. He completed his thesis on the transition of the family’s traditional business to a mail order business and an internet retailer. Together with his father and brother, Hancock has transformed Hancock’s of Paducah into a modern, multi-faceted business. He is the company’s managing partner and handles marketing and finance. Every day Hancock’s of Paducah ships products all over the U.S. and to 72 countries.

Bernard L. Herman is the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously he enjoyed a long career at the University of Delaware, where he co-founded two interdisciplinary research centers and taught art history, history, urban affairs and public policy, and material culture studies. Three of his books received the Abbott Lowell Cummings Award as best work on North American vernacular architecture. Herman has published essays on quilts, self-taught and outsider arts, foodways, historical archaeology, vernacular photography, and theoretical approaches to the study and interpretation of objects. Herman teaches courses on visual and material culture, contemporary craft, vernacular art, Southern studies, architectural history, and everyday life. He works with students on hands-on research projects leading to public engagement through publications and exhibitions, including “The mind do the imagining”: The Emergence of Thornton Dial’s Works on Paper, 1990-1991, an exhibition and book scheduled for 2012 at the University of North Carolina’s Ackland Museum of Art. His current research projects include Quilt Spaces, an oral history-based exploration of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilts and quiltmakers, and Troublesome Things: In the Borderlands of Contemporary Art for which he received a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Maria Herrera was born in Chicago and lives in the Pilsen neighborhood on the city’s lower west side. She is a stay-at-home mom with a seven-year-old son, and she has been married for 15 years. Herrera is a member of Las puntadas del alma/Stitches of the Soul quilt group at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. She has been a member since the group’s beginning in July 2008. “I have always enjoyed and loved the arts, but never believed myself to be creative. The quilt group/classes have opened up my soul and have given me the confidence enough to say that I can actually create art. I hope to pass the love of art to my son.”

Stacy C. Hollander is senior curator and director of exhibitions at the American Folk Art Museum. She was most recently project coordinator for Infinite Variety: Three Hundred Years of Red and White Quilts presented by the American Folk Art Museum at the Park Avenue Armory (2011), and she contributed the introduction to Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum (2010). She has served as curator of numerous exhibitions at the museum, including Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Art of Paula Nadelstern (2009); The Seduction of Light: Ammi Phillips | Mark Rothko Compositions in Pink, Green, and Red (2008, with catalog); Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing (2008); White on White (and a little gray) (2006); Surface Attraction: Painted Furniture from the Collection (2005); Talking Quilts (2004); Blue (2004); and American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum (2001, with catalog). Hollander lectures and publishes widely and is a frequent contributor to scholarly magazines in the field. She received her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her M.A. in American folk art studies from New York University.

Susan Kramer Hunkins owns the Heart of Country Antiques Show, a major American antiques event held annually at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Heart of Country was started by Hunkin’s parents, Elizabeth and Richard Kramer, on the premise that a great interest in America’s decorative heritage existed beyond New England. They broke new ground by bringing a high caliber show to the middle of the country, broadening the antiques market to make it accessible to enthusiasts from coast to coast. The continuing success of the show is based on their mission to present knowledgeable dealers with quality antiques at reasonable prices, alongside a daily selection of educational programs and exhibits designed to further an understanding of America’s vast cultural heritage as seen through its decorative arts. Hunkins’ interest in and knowledge of antiques developed as she grew up around the business, and expanded as she earned her B.A. magna cum laude in art history from the University of Missouri. Her professional experience includes public relations management, event management, and educational fundraising; and she currently consults on independent fundraising projects and continues to produce the annual Heart of Country Antiques Show.

Mark Hyland is a seasoned marketing and sales executive with more than 20 years of experience. Mark has enjoyed success providing companies and brands with strong leadership, solid growth strategies, and successful implementation and execution within multiple channels of trade, including special niche markets as well as big box/mass merchant channels. In 2005, Hyland was recruited by a private equity group to lead Handi Quilter as its new president/CEO. Handi Quilter is the leader in marketing and manufacturing of mid-arm and longarm quilting machines, gadgets and accessories. During Hyland’s tenure, Handi Quilter has experienced rapid growth and has expanded domestically and internationally by utilizing technology and sound marketing strategies to provide new innovative products and energetic leadership in the highly competitive quilt and sewing markets. Handi Quilter’s corporate office and manufacturing facility is located in North Salt Lake, Utah ( Hyland is married to Suzanne Michelle Hyland, a quilt artist and national educator, and has authored a book entitled Help! I Married a Quilter, which has sold 10,000 copies with all proceeds going to various quilting charities.

Janine Jannière is associate professor of English at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France. She holds a B.A. in American studies from Paris University. After being awarded a full scholarship, she earned a masters degree in education at the University of Connecticut in Storrs in 1977. There she discovered the American quiltmaking tradition, which has been her focus ever since. She has done further research within a Ph.D. program in American studies at Paris VIII University. She did field work in the U.S. and was also a visiting scholar at the Institute of Appalachian Affairs of East Tennessee University. After discovering an important piece of antique French patchwork in 1990, she published the first article on documented French patchwork in Antiques magazine in 1995 and became a member of the International Centre for the Study of Ancient Textiles (CIETA). In 2003, she was a co-curator for the international exhibition Mosaïques d’Étoffes: À la Recherche de l’Hexagone at the Folk Art Museum of Normandy, and she co-authored and edited the catalogue.

Lee Kogan is curator emerita at the American Folk Art Museum. She was previously director of the Museum’s Folk Art Institute and adjunct assistant professor of art and art professions at New York University. She was senior research consultant for the American Folk Art Museum’s Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artists (1990); project coordinator for the exhibition and book, Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger (1993); co-author of Treasures of American Folk Art from the American Folk Art Museum (1994); project coordinator and essay contributor for the exhibition and book, Self-Taught Artists of the Twentieth Century: An American Anthology (1998); curator and author of Nellie Mae Rowe: Ninety-Nine and a Half Won’t Do (1999); and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (2004). Over the years at the museum, Kogan organized numerous exhibitions, 15 Quilt Weekends, 18 symposia fostering the creativity of contemporary self-taught artists, six seminars on traditional folk art, and more than 100 academic and craft heritage courses. She lectures widely and has written essays on southern and other American folk art for catalogs, magazines and books. She holds an M.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. from New York University.

Rod Lich is a dealer in regional fine and folk art, as well as antiques, who also promotes and manages art and antiques shows in the eastern half of the U.S. With partner Susan Parrett he has been in business since 1976 and for most of those years has specialized in quilts made before 1950. He manages shows as fund-raising events for the Adirondack Museum in New York, the Methodist Health Foundation in Indianapolis, Locust Grove Historic Home in Louisville, and the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill near Lexington, Kentucky. Susan and Rod operate their antiques business as Parrett/Lich Inc. Their show management business is known as Rod Lich Promotions, Inc.

Kathleen Loomis was trained as a journalist and spent her career as a newspaper journalist and corporate writer/editor. Since her retirement in 2000, she has worked full-time as a fiber artist in Louisville, Kentucky. Loomis learned to sew at her grandmothers’ knees and taught herself to make quilts while still in high school. After many years of seeing (and making) quilts as functional and decorative, “I had an epiphany – I realized one day that quilts could be art!” Loomis’ quilts generally use the techniques and format of traditional quilts, but in recent years her work has been largely political, focusing on the war in Iraq as well as other dangers, disappointments and failures of modern society. Her large quilt Memorial Day contains 4,083 tiny American flags, one for each of the U.S. military dead in Iraq as of Memorial Day 2008. It is traveling in the prestigious exhibit Quilt National ’09 and won the Quilts Japan Prize, which sent Loomis to teach in Japan.

Carolyn L. Mazloomi is an artist, author, historian and curator. She is among the most influential African-American quilt historians and quilting artists of the 21st century. She has produced an inspiring body of work, much of it containing references to African-American life and history, as well as harkening back to a shared African ancestry. In 2003, Mazloomi was awarded the first Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award. She is author of the book Spirits of the Cloth, given the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year award by the American Library Association. Threads of Faith, written in 2004, was published by the Museum of the American Biblical Art. An exhibition based on the book toured the U.S. for two years. Mazloomi also wrote Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition (Paper Moon Publications, 2007) and Quilting African American Women’s History: Our Creativity, Champions and Challenges (Paper Moon Publications, 2008). Mazloomi, a former aerospace engineer, has been involved in the economic development of women through the arts for more than 20 years. Her organization, Women of Color Quilters Network, has been recognized by the International Labour Department in Geneva and the United Nations for its developmental programs to help advance women.

Dolores Mercado is associate curator at the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in Chicago, Illinois, and former associate director of education and senior arts educator. She was co-curator of Rastros y Crónicas: Women of Juarez; co-curator of Quilt Me a Story: Nuestros relatos (Immigration Stories);curator of Women Artists of Modern Mexico: Frida’s Contemporaries; coordinator and assistant to the curator of Nahui Olin: A Women Beyond Time; and curator of El Proceso y la Creación, Punto de Encuentro, and De Cuentos y Reencuentros. She served as juror for Mirando al Sur: Looking South atWoman Made Gallery, Chicago. She has hosted Camino Tierra Adentro radio program at WRTE 90.5 FM (1999 to 2004, MFACM), and Alquimia radio program at WRTE 90.5 FM. (2004-2006) MFACM. She was coordinator and collaborator for the Women Artists of Modern Mexico: Frida’s Contemporaries catalog, NMMA 1998. She was also coordinator of Nahui Olin: A Woman Beyond Time catalog. Mercado studied at the Art School La Esmeralda in Mexico City, La Academia de San Carlos de la UNAM in Mexico City, The School of Video of the University of Guadalajara, and at the School of Visual Arts of the University of Guadalajara.

Gerry B. Montgomery was mayor of Paducah, Kentucky from 1988 until 1996. As mayor, she proclaimed Paducah as Quilt City U.S.A. She has professional experience in business management and finance, city government planning and leadership. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development appointed her to the Kentucky Mayors Advisory Council. She is a graduate of Georgetown College (summa cum laude) in Kentucky, and she did post-graduate work at the University of Louisville and Murray State University College of Business (M.B.A. program). She taught mathematics and chemistry in the public schools of Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky. She also taught at Paducah Community College. Montgomery initiated the Community Foundation of West Kentucky in 1996, because she felt that Western Kentucky needed a community foundation to encourage charitable giving for the future of nonprofits in the region. She has received numerous awards for her volunteer efforts.

Cesáreo Moreno has been the visual arts director of the National Museum of Mexican Art since 1995, and was named the museum’s first full-time curator in 2004. Moreno has conducted research on the Mexican holdings of museums throughout Mexico and the U.S. He has curated and/or coordinated numerous exhibitions. Moreno has served as a juror and panelist for numerous groups including the National Endowment for the Humanities (1999), the Illinois Arts Council (2001), and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (2002–2008). He taught at Columbia College, Chicago (2005, 2006). Moreno has spoken at conferences in the U.S. and Mexico, including the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program (2008); Association of African American Museums National Conference (2007); American Association of Museums National Conference (2000, 2006); Afro-Latin American Research Association Conference, Veracruz, Mexico (2006); the Snite Museum’s Day of the Dead Program at Notre Dame University (2001); and two different Smithsonian Institution Center for Latino Initiatives Symposiums. He also served on the restoration committee for San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church (1996-1998). Moreno has an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his B.F.A. with emphasis in philosophy from Loyola University (Illinois).

Judy Marie Laval Morton is an artist and needleworker. She began her career as a needle artist in 1976 following her marriage to Thomas Rand Morton. In 1976, her Birds of Prey needle painting was juried into an American Needlepoint Exhibit for H.S.H. Princess Grace of Monaco in Monte Carlo. The exhibit traveled to London, England. In 1985, Morton helped organize and served as vice president for the Quilt Registry Project for the state of Indiana, and she helped found the Raintree Quilters Guild of Evansville, Indiana. In 1995, a quilt made as a result of a class with Elly Sienkiewicz was included in Sienkiewicz’s Silver Star Jubilee Celebration. In 2006, Coats and Clark thread company used Morton’s quilt Somewhere in Time in its thread advertisements. The Mortons’ Davies County Amish Quilt Collection was shown at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. Morton was selected to be the honored guest quiltmaker at the Baltimore Appliqué Academy in Williamsburg, Virginia. Morton received the Dillon Tourism award for promoting tourism in Daviess County, Indiana. In 2009, she was named the winner of the Arts Award for Warrick County, Newburgh, Indiana, by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana. Morton lives in Newburgh, Indiana.

Karen Musgrave is a quiltmaker, mask maker, teacher, speaker, writer, publicist and curator who works to provide a connection between American quiltmaking and other cultures. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in many private collections. Her projects include curating an exhibition of the African American quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, alongside quilts from the Republics of Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan. In 2006, she organized, curated and wrote the catalogue for an exhibition of American art quilts and Krygyz patchwork. Since July 2008, she has lead the quilt group Las puntadas del alma at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. She served on the national board of the Alliance for American Quilts as development chair, was involved for more than ten years with its oral history project Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories and curated their highly successful quilt contest and touring exhibit Put a Roof Over Our Head. She served on the board of the Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. and was elected to the board of the Naperville Art League in June, 2010. Her book Quilts in the Attic (Voyageur Press) will be released in January, 2012. She lives in Naperville, Illinois.

Susan Parrett is an antiques dealer and collector. She and husband Rod Lich have been specializing in fine and folk art, quilts, and regional antiques since 1976, and they have exhibited in shows across the eastern U.S. They have also enjoyed sharing their private collections at various museums in the Midwest, as well as speaking at educational programs for antiques shows and other public events. Parrett’s childhood experiences with sewing and hand-work helped define her interests in design and history, and focused her appreciation as a collector on the unique, one-of-a-kind vision that comes from the anonymous artist.

Niloo Paydar is curator of textile and fashion arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), where she has worked since 1986. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in textiles from Syracuse University and conducted post-graduate work in the museum studies program there. During her tenure at the IMA, she has organized 30 exhibitions and has authored catalogues and books on the museum’s collection. In 1993 and 1995 she was awarded two NEA grants to research and document the IMA’s collections of Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Southeast Asian textiles and costumes. Some of her exhibitions have traveled nationally and internationally. In 2003 The Fabric of Moroccan Life traveled to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., and a portion of it later traveled to Antwerp, Belgium in 2006. Paydar is a member of national and international professional associations related to textiles and costumes and has served on advisory boards of national organizations. She has received several awards in her field, including The Premier Print Award, for the book The Fabric of Moroccan Life, Best of Category, 2002, and The Joseph V. McMullan Awardfor Stewardship and Scholarship in Islamic Rugs and Textiles in 2002.

Arlonzia Pettway (1923-2008) was the daughter of Missouri and Nathaniel Pettway and granddaughter of Sallie, a mid-wife whose mother was a slave on the original Pettway Plantation in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Arlonzia’s family had been quilting for generations, and Arlonzia learned quiltmaking as a young girl. After marrying, she continued to quilt with her mother-in-law, and later she said that her quilting style was a combination of things she learned from her relatives and from her mother-in-law. In the late 1960s as Arlonzia and three friends quilted around the frame together, they formed the singing group the White Rose. They sang together in church and continued as a group for nearly 40 years. Arlonzia’s quilts are in numerous private and public collections and have been featured in exhibitions including The Quilts of Gee’s Bend; Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt; and A Survey of Gee’s Bend Quilts. Her work has been featured in many publications, and she has appeared on television and radio programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and CBS Evening News. Arlonzia was an active quiltmaker and community member until she suffered a stroke in 2006 from which she never fully recovered.

Creola Bennett Pettway was born in 1927 and was raised in the Brown’s Quarters section of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. She is the youngest daughter of Delia Bennett and Eddie Bennett. Along with her sister Georgiana B. Pettway and Arlonzia Pettway and Leola Pettway, she formed the singing group The White Rose. She grew up working on the family’s farm, taking to quilting at an early age. She quilted for many years, stopping recently. She was a featured artist in the publication Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts and the exhibition Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. She toured Alabama with the White Rose, playing churches throughout the state; and when The Quilts of Gee’s Bend opened, she had the chance to sing around the country. Her music and that of the White Rose was part of the two-disc How We Got Over: Sacred Songs of Gee’s Bend. She continues to live in Wilcox County, Alabama.

Essie Bendolph Pettway (born 1956), the only daughter of Mary Lee Bendolph and Rubin Bendolph, began quilting at the age of eight. Although trained by her mother, Essie developed a distinctive style and was producing accomplished quilts while still in her teens. She has worked for many years making uniforms for the armed forces. Her highly practiced sewing skills enable her to tackle complex quilt patterns and introduce subtle optical effects into them. Over the years she also has created a number of quilts that incorporate camouflage patterns from her day job. She has been a featured quiltmaker in the exhibitions The Quilts of Gee’s BendGee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt; and Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee’s Bend Quilts, and Beyond. Along with her mother and several other quiltmakers, she is a founding member of Ye Shall Know the Truth Baptist Church in Gee’s Bend.

Georgiana Bennett Pettway (1925-2007) was the daughter of Delia Bennett and Eddie Bennett, and like her sister Creola, was born and raised in the Brown’s Quarters section of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. She grew up working on the family’s farm, doing all the chores that farm life required. One of those chores, quiltmaking, became a life-long avocation. With her sister Creola B. Pettway, she was a founding member of the White Rose singers, along with Arlonzia Pettway and Leola Pettway. Georgiana is the mother of Stella Mae Pettway, one of the great quiltmakers and leaders within the Gee’s Bend community, and Clinton Pettway, Jr., pastor of one of the largest churches in Wilcox County, Alabama. She passed away after a few years of illness but is remembered fondly by her friends and family.

Tom Pfannerstill has been making art in his Christy Avenue studio in Louisville, Kentucky since 1978. He has an extensive exhibition history, including several solo shows at O K Harris Works of Art in New York City and galleries in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Nashville, Cincinnati and Louisville. His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions including shows at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, The Frist Center in Nashville, and museums in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Mainz, Germany. His work has gained widespread recognition and awards including an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in 2002. Pfannerstill was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He attended Western Kentucky University where he graduated with honors in 1975.

C.J. Pressma is a graduate of Antioch College and holds an M.F.A. in photography from Indiana University.  He also studied with Minor White at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and with Henry Holmes Smith at Indiana University.  In 1970, he founded the Center for Photographic Studies, an alternative school of creative photography.  During its eight-year existence the center attracted students from more than 35 states and 7 foreign countries.  In 1978, Pressma was awarded a National Endowment Fellowship in Photography.  In 1979, he embarked on a career as a multimedia producer and marketing communications specialist.  In 1984, his seven-part series Witness to the Holocaust was released in the U.S. and Canada, and it remains in distribution today.  One of the first productions to use survivor interviews as the exclusive content to tell the story of the Holocaust, it has received numerous national awards.  In 1997, Pressma was awarded the American Advertising Federation’s prestigious Silver Medal Award, and in 2001 he was awarded a Fellowship by the Kentucky Arts Council and was one of 84 artists chosen by the Brooklyn Museum for its landmark exhibition Digital Printmaking Now. Pressma’s quilts have been included in numerous juried national/international exhibitions.

Sue Reich is a quiltmaker, author, speaker, independent quilt researcher and appraiser. She began her study of quilt history with the Connecticut Quilt Search Project in 1991 and has served on the board since its beginning. A quiltmaker since childhood, she lectures widely on many aspects of quilt history, and is a certified AQS quilt appraiser. She co-authored Quilts and Quiltmakers Covering Connecticut, and she authored Quilting News of Yesteryear: One Thousand Pieces and Counting and Quilting News of Yesteryear: Crazy as a Bed-Quilt. She has written articles for Fons and Porters Love of Quilting magazine and the American Quilt Study Group’s publication Blanket Statements. She has been guest curator at the New England Quilt Museum, the Museum of the American Quilter, the Litchfield Historical Society, the Mattatuck Museum, and the Gunn Museum. She has lectured at numerous museums and venues including The Quilter’s Hall of Fame, The Museum of Science and Energy, Women’s Creativity Conference Quinnipiac University, the Wethersfield Museum, the New England Quilt Museum and the Bruce Museum. Reich co-founded the Meetinghouse Quilters in Washington, Connecticut in 1989. She has served on the board of the American Quilt Study Group (2005-2011) and as its president (2008-2010).

Gerald Roy is an art teacher, painter, quiltmaker and author. He is a certified quilt appraiser and is administrator of the Quilt Appraisal Certification Program for the American Quilter’s Society. Since 1972 Roy has been owner, collector and curator of the Pilgrim/Roy Antique Quilt Collection. Since 2004, Roy has written a column, This Old Quilt, featured in Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting Magazine. Roy serves on the acquisitions board for the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. He serves on the national advisory board and executive board of directors for the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, and is also chair of the acquisitions committee there. Roy is a graduate of the School of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts; and he holds a B.F.A. from the California School of Arts and an M.F.A. from Mills College, both in Oakland, California.

Meredith Schroeder founded the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) to promote the accomplishments of today’s quilters on a national and international scale. She has built an integrated framework of book publishing, distribution, magazine publishing, appraisal certification, quilt shows and contests, underlined with a dedicated membership organization. The American Quilter’s Society is the largest quilting organization in the world. Schroeder serves on the board of directors for the Paducah Bank & Trust Company, and she founded the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. She has served on numerous boards, including the Carson Four Rivers Center for the Performing Arts, Hope Unlimited Pregnancy Care Center, and Paducah Riverfront Development Authority. The first American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show & Contest began in 1985 with $25,000 in cash prizes. Twenty-five shows later, AQS has awarded over $2.5 million in prize money paid directly to the quiltmakers. Schroeder opened a second show and contest in Nashville, Tennessee in 2000, as well as events in Des Moines, Iowa in 2008 and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2009. All contests award monetary prizes. Schroeder is the publisher of American Quilter and The Quilt Life magazines. She oversees the publication of 20 books per year on quiltmaking techniques and patterns.

William Schroeder is a collector, quiltmaker, publisher and appraiser. He founded Collector Books in Paducah, Kentucky in 1969. He produced a bestselling book in the field of antiques, One Thousand Fruit Jars with Current Value. Since then, Schroeder Publishing has become a leader in the field of antiques. Books are published on subjects including antique furniture, dolls (contemporary and antique), glassware, pottery, Indian artifacts, tools, fishing lures and guns; and Schroeder’s Antiques Price Guide is considered a must for dealers and collectors. In 1984, Schroeder and his wife Meredith formed the American Quilter’s Society. The American Quilter’s Society produces more than 30 how-to books each year as well as the American Quilter and Quilt Life magazines, and for more than 25 years it has produced the National Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, Kentucky. In 1991, Bill and Meredith built the non-profit Museum of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah. In 2004, by an act of Congress, the museum was designated The National Quilt Museum. The museum houses more than 250 of the world’s finest quilts. Schroeder has served on several local business and civic boards, including the holding company board of the Paducah Bank & Trust Company.

Judy Schwender is curator of collections and registrar at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Her undergraduate degree is in art education. She became a quilter while working as a wholesale fabric and notions sales representative in Idaho and Montana in the 1980s. Later, while working at Patchworks quilt shop in Bozeman, Montana, she developed several pieced-quilt classes and became interested in antique quilts and textiles. She earned a master’s degree in textile history with an emphasis in quilt studies and a minor in museum studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her master’s project was the exhibit Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts: Selections from the Jonathan Holstein Collection. She is a member and board member of the American Quilt Study Group. In 2007, Judy was co-presenter with Carrie Cox, Ph.D., the National Quilt Museum’s curator of education, of Quilt School: The Role of the Quilt Museum at Traditions and Trajectories: Education and the Quiltmaker, a symposium sponsored by the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Schwender lives in Paducah and is a member of the Textile Art Group there.

Penny Sisto was born in the Orkney Islands off the northern tip of Scotland. As a health worker for the British Ministry of Overseas Development, she worked as a midwife and aided in health clinics for the Maasai, LuBukusu and Kikuyu tribes of East Africa. During this time, Sisto combined the embroidery, appliqué and quilting techniques she learned from her grandmother with the beading and collage methods of her African friends. Sisto says, “I have little or no formal education. My Granny taught me to sew and read by the soft light of a kerosene lantern at the age of three. The nuns taught me to embroider, the Maasai taught me to crochet, and to revel in color. My quilts spring full-born into my mind. My task, if you will, is to allow my clumsy hands to make them manifest. My granny taught me quilting. Placing square against square in neat stacks to be sewn that night after the farm chores were done. Granny was stern, ‘Stitch and unpick, corners must be squared, and colors mixed dark and then light!’ – Even at seven I rebelled!” Today, Penny’s work continues at a prolific pace in her Floyds Knobs, Indiana, studio.

Christa C. Mayer Thurman retired in 2009 after 42 years as curator, department chair and advising conservator of the Department of Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2010, she was honored as Emerita, The Art Institute of Chicago. She curated two more exhibitions for the Art Institute recently: A Selection of Contemporary Fiber Art, the collection she built from 1969 to 2009; and June Wayne’s Narrative Tapestries: Tidal Waves, DNA and The Cosmos, 1971-1974. Thurman has contributed extensively to scholarly publications. As one of the authors of Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision, 1925-1940, she received the Charles F. Montgomery Prize. The publication also received the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award. In 2000, Thurman received the College Art Association/Heritage Preservation Joint Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation, and she was elected honorary fellow of the American Craft Council. In 2004, she received a research fellowship from the J. Paul Getty Museum. During her career Thurman curated more than 80 exhibitions at the Art Institute, held leading positions for decades with CIETA (Centre Internationales d’Etude des Textiles Anciens) and was involved in national and international textile organizations. She continues as independent textile historian, consultant, author, lecturer and volunteer.

Ricky Tims is known as an enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, an award-winning quilter, and a talented speaker. His innovative, entertaining presentations feature live music and humor combined with scholarly insights. His quilts have been displayed worldwide and are regarded as excellent examples of contemporary quilts with traditional appeal. Ricky began designing and making quilts in 1991, and was selected as one of The Thirty Most Distinguished Quilters in the World. Quilting is a relatively new interest compared to Ricky’s lifelong passion for music; he has produced several solo piano recordings and is a conductor, composer, arranger, music producer and performing artist. Ricky is co-host of The Quilt Show, a full-service interactive online video/web magazine and community for quilters. He is also a creative and executive director for Quilt Life magazine. Ricky was named one of the three most influential people in the quilting industry for 2009 by Quilter’s Newsletter magazine and is the author of several books and instructional DVD’s. Ricky maintains an extensive international teaching and speaking schedule, presents in-depth workshops in Colorado and conducts his Super Quilt seminars around the country. He currently lives in LaVeta, Colorado with his partner, Justin Shults. Learn more at or

Carlos Tortolero is founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the nation’s largest Latino arts organization and the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums. From 1975 to 1987, Tortolero worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator in the Chicago Public School System. He also has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University. In 2009, Tortolero was appointed a trustee of the University of Illinois. He has also served on numerous boards including the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Illinois Humanities Council. Tortolero is the co-author of Mexican Chicago, a very well received photo history book of the Mexican community of Chicago. Tortolero has written articles for national and international publications, and he has won numerous awards. Tortolero has a B.A. in secondary education and history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.A. in bilingual education supervision from Chicago State University.

Vadis Turner works with traditional craft materials and techniques to develop a visual language that re-imagines rites of passage and the classification of heirlooms in a contemporary cultural context. Turner has exhibited all over the U.S. and abroad, including at the National Gallery in Prague and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, 21C Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and the Egon Schiele Art Centrum. Turner was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Boston University. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

John “Jack” M. Walsh III is a licensed professional engineer whose life’s work is making water safe to use. Walsh’s interest in water is personal and professional having grown up on the shore of Lake Michigan and now living beside a glen. Water is the subject of several works Walsh has commissioned. In 1988 on business in England, Walsh became interested in collecting quilts when he saw Michael James’ work on TV. This interest increased in 1992 when Walsh attended Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt. There he met Robert and Ardis James who introduced him to Penny McMorris. Walsh credits McMorris with training him in the world of art quilts, having the original vision of what his collection would become, and continuing to be his mentor. Solo exhibitions of Walsh’s collection have been held at several major museums. His collection has been featured in American Craft, Art & Antiques, SAQA Journal, Forbes’ Collector and several books. Walsh is a board member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc., the International Quilt Study Center, Friends of Fiber Art International and other organizations. On four different occasions he has been listed in the annual 100 Top Collectors Issue of Art & Antiques Magazine.

Elizabeth V. Warren was curator at the American Folk Art Museum from 1984 until 1991, and since then has been a consulting and guest curator. She has organized a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions for the museum, many of which have been accompanied by books. Some of the more recent exhibitions include Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts (2011) and Quilts: Masterpieces from the American Folk Art Museum (2010-2011). In 2007 she was elected to the museum’s board of trustees. She has devoted the past 30 years to studying, writing about and curating exhibitions of folk art, with a special focus on quilts. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she was a journalist at House Beautiful covering the home furnishings market as well as art and antiques. While working at House Beautiful she received an M.A. from New York University in folk art studies.

Mariya Waters is an Australian quiltmaker and teacher specializing in hand appliqué and machine quilting. Waters began quilting in New Zealand in 1990, and her first quilt was selected for a juried quilt show and published in a book. In 1994, while living in England, her third quilt won the prestigious Ascot Trophy. Her quilts have appeared in magazines and books, are in public and private collections around the world, and have been used in corporate advertisements. In 2007, her quilt Renaissance Revival won Best of Show, Best Domestic Machine Quilting and the inaugural Hangers’ Award at the Quilters’ Guild of NSW show in Sydney; Best of Category and Viewers’ Choice at the Victorian Quilters, Inc. show in Melbourne, Australia; and the Founders Award at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.  In February, 2008 the quilt was awarded the Bernina Australian National Quilt Award; and in April, 2009 the quilt was awarded the American Quilter’s Society’s Best of Show prize in Paducah, Kentucky. The quilt is now in the National Quilt Museum’s collection. One of Waters’ miniature quilts was donated to the National Quilt Museum’s Oh, Wow! collection, and an image is on The Quilt Index.

Valerie White makes quilts that celebrate her African culture both past and present. White is drawn to and inspired by African masks and traditional African symbols. White believes that it is the improvisational quality of her work that creates energy and rhythm within the compositions.  Presently, White is exploring a variety of mixed media approaches to compose positive declarations regarding the sun and Earth. White graduated from Howard University College of Fine Arts in 1973 with a B.F.A. She taught general art and ceramics in the District of Columbia public school system. Her career as an art educator spanned more than 20 years. In 1988 White earned a Master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic University in pupil personnel services/guidance and counseling. She retired as a middle school counselor from the District of Columbia Public Schools in 1999.  For the past ten years White has been creating visual energy in fiber art, and her work has been exhibited widely. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Nettie Pettway Young was born in June of 1917 in the area known as Young’s, which was part of the old Young Plantation of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Her father was the son of a slave named Irby, but when he was sold to the Pettways, like all of Pettway’s other slaves, he became a Pettway. Young learned quilting from her mother, and made her first quilt at the age of 11. She continued quilting from those early days throughout her life, and she died just a few days shy of her 92nd birthday. Until her death, she was very active, both in her community and beyond. She was a founding member of the Freedom Quilting Bee in Rehoboth, Alabama; founded in 1966, it provided the first real jobs for the women of Gee’s Bend, Rehoboth, Alberta and the vicinity. Young traveled extensively, promoting her community and the rich history of the quilting tradition of Gee’s Bend.

Shelly Zegart, executive producer and host, was a founding director of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. (1981), the first state documentation project — a model used around the world, and The Alliance for American Quilts (1993). She curates exhibitions, lectures and writes on all aspects of quilt history and aesthetics. Exhibition projects include Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon, Rouen, France (2003) and antique quilt exhibitions curated for the Great International Quilt Festival in Tokyo (2005, 2007, 2008). Her book, American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces was published by Nihon Vogue in Tokyo (1998). Her article “Myth and Methodology: Shelly Zegart Unpicks African American Quilt Scholarship” was published in Selvedge Magazine, London, England, (2008). She bought and sold fine quilts for more than 30 years, building many significant public and private collections. A member of Appraisers Association of America, Zegart appraises public and private quilt collections. Her personal collection was acquired and exhibited by The Art Institute of Chicago (2002). For the past two and a half years Zegart has been working on producing the documentary series, Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics. Zegart holds a B.A. in education from the University of Michigan.