|More Than Skin Deep2 by Jeanne Marklin c.2011 Dimensions: 32" H x 54" Wide|
Last summer, I posted a piece on the blog titled "More Than Skin Deep" that I had made for an art quilt exhibit on racism. The art quilts were exhibited at a conference on racism in Chicago. A staff member from the General Council on Religion and Race had attended the conference, and contacted me about buying the quilt. The exhibit was already scheduled to travel for the next year and a half, so I offered to make another piece that was similar, but they could choose the finished size. I received a commission to make a similar piece for the General Council on Religion and Race in Washington, DC. They wanted a larger piece for the reception area of the organization, and I was thrilled to be asked to make a work that would represent an organization with the goal of raising consciousness about racism.
This was the first time that I needed to produce a piece with a similar design. I wasn't that happy with the first piece, but it had a deadline, and I had made the deadline. And it had led GCORR to contact me, so it was a good introduction to a new organization. I had been unhappy with the proportions in the first quilt, so I decided to make the background much more variable in sizes and shapes, and the black line, stronger. I think this piece is much stronger than the first one. Do you agree?
The piece was meant to represent the variety of skin colors in the human race, and the blood, and heart beat that we all share. The artist statement went something like this "Our skin is meant to protect us from the elements, but is a very small part of who we are. So many judgements and prejudices are made on the basis of skin color, that really have nothing to do with the human being within that skin. We need to look inside each other, to see the person within, what makes them tick, what their heart tells them. We have much in common." GCORR asked for an artist statement to frame and post near the art quilt so visitors can understand the meaning behind the work.
I was in the DC area and delivered the quilt to the organization. The staff all gathered for the "unveiling", and it was a warm, welcoming, and appreciative group. They made it a special time for me. It is gratifying when people who are "simpatico", get the meaning of one of my art quilts, and want to share it with others. If I can influence anyone to be more open to connecting with others, the goal of the work will be reached!