February 6, 2017 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Featured Speaker: Professor Blake Gilpin
First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans – Library
5212 S. Claiborne Ave. New Orleans, LA 70115

February 11, 2017 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Featured Speaker: Cecilia Pedescleaux
Beecher Memorial UCC
1914 North Miro, New Orleans, LA 70119

February 16, 2017 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Featured Speaker: Stephanie Hepburn

Pelican Bomb Gallery X
1612 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

Drop in Unraveling Empire Sewing at Catapult!
Join Unraveling Empire artist Rachel Wallis for some unstructured sewing time on the Unraveling Empire quilt. No sewing experience necessary -Stop by, say hi, and sew a little!
Tuesday February 14 – 11am – 1pm
609 Saint Ferdinand St
New Orleans, Louisiana

All quilting circles are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. No sewing experience required. For questions or accessibility needs contact info@astudiointhewoods.org Please RSVP to info@astudiointhewoods.org

Quilter Rachel Wallis, a Studio in the Woods resident artist, is organizing series of community quilting circles/discussions in New Orleans, February 6 – 20, 2017. Each of these quilting circles will explore the way in which textiles and the textile trade played a crucial role in the economic system of slavery, and ultimately the foundation of much of our contemporary economic and political system. At each quilting circle, we will hear from a guest speaker about one aspect of the history of textiles and issues of racial and economic justice. As we learn about and discuss these topics, we will embroider in the outlines of the textile economy in the 17th-19th century onto a quilt pieced from chambray work shirts. We will trace the trade of Indian cotton and silk for West African bodies; the role of enslaved people in introducing indigo to the colonies; the cotton boom that drove the domestic slave trade and the forced migration of hundreds of thousands of enslaved people; and the cotton mills, fed by Southern cotton, that built the economy of the industrialized north.

All quilting circles are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. No sewing experience required. For questions or accessibility needs contact info@astudiointhewoods.org Please RSVP to info@astudiointhewoods.org

Rachel Wallis is a self-taught crafter, artist and activist. She is interested in transgressing the lines between fine art and craft, and engaging in questions of identity, labor and value when it comes to the creation and appreciation of art. Her current work focuses on collaborative community quilting projects. She is currently collaborating with the grassroots group We Charge Genocide on Gone But Not Forgotten, a community quilting process creating a memorial quilt for individuals killed by the Chicago Police Department. She previously collaborated on Untitled (Homicide Quilt), created with El Stitch y Bitch, embroidering the names of people murdered in the city of Chicago in 2013 in the neighborhoods where they lived.

R. Blakeslee Gilpin received his Ph.D from Yale University in May, 2009 and his dissertation won the 2010 C. Vann Woodward Prize from the Southern Historical Association for the best dissertation in Southern history. Gilpin’s first book, John Brown Still Lives!: America’s Long Reckoning With Violence, Equality, and Change, was published by UNC Press in November 2011, and was a finalist for Gilder Lehrman Center’s Frederick Douglass Book prize. The book appeared in paperback in Spring 2014.

Cecelia “Cely” Tapplette-Pedescleaux, is a self-taught quilter born in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. Since the 1960s Cely’s quilts have become examples of quilts combining African design and history. Cely teaches quilting and the history of African American quilting to the public through Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ Quilt Guild, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and surrounding school systems, as well as through speaking engagements both local and abroad. Her quilts have been on exhibit in many galleries, colleges, universities, festivals and quilts shows.

Stephanie Hepburn is an independent journalist whose work has been published in the Guardian, Huffington Post, Americas Quarterly, USA Today U-Wire, the Times-Picayune and the journal Gender Issues. She has written three books on human rights: Women’s Roles and Statuses the World Over, Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight, and Conversation With My Daughter About Human Trafficking. Stephanie is a consultant on human trafficking for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. She is an expert witness in trafficking cases and volunteers as the head of the Community Awareness Committee for the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force. In October 2014, she founded the online ethical clothing boutique Good Cloth (ShopGoodCloth.com), a purpose-driven Certified B Corp that specializes in pieces that are good for workers, the planet, and consumers.

A Studio in the Woods is sponsored in part thanks to generous support of the Lambent Foundation, The Keller Family Foundation, and the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research. Supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council New Orleans. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works. The residencies of Byron Asher and Sarah Dahnke are supported by a grant from the New Orleans Theatre Association (NOTA).