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Beautiful 9/11 Peace Story Quilt at the Met

RENEE MINUS WHITE Fashion & Beauty Editor | 8/24/2011, 6:06 p.m.
Designed by the artist Faith Ringgold and created in collaboration with New York City students...
Beautiful 9/11 Peace Story Quilt at the Met

Designed by the artist Faith Ringgold and created in collaboration with New York City students ages 8 to 19, the 9/11 Peace Story Quilt will be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Aug. 30 through Jan. 22 in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. This magnificent quilt poignantly conveys the importance of respect, understanding and communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace.

The quilt is comprised of three 72-by-50-inch panels, each with 12 squares on the theme of peace. It will be displayed alongside several of the students' original works of art that inspired its content, as well as related works made this summer by the museum's high school interns.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Met will offer special programming, including a talk by Ringgold, readings from New York University students related to the 9/11 Peace Story Quilt and an afternoon concert at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt exhibition was organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the InterRelations Collaborative (IRC).

Following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, IRC, a nonprofit organization, brought together young people from across New York City to document their experiences. The organization is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding through art among diverse student populations.

A selection of the students' drawings and writings were published in the book "What Will You Do for Peace? Impact of 9/11 on New York City Youth." In 2006, IRC commissioned Ringgold to design the 9/11 Peace Story Quilt based on the book. Ringgold and her assistant, Grace Mathews, worked with several young artists to produce a story quilt using compositions from the book. The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt combines labor and images to convey messages of healing and unity. The collective labor of making the quilt is an expression of community building.

Ringgold is well known for her story quilts, works that combine painting, quilted fabric and storytelling. She began to use quilt making in 1983 as a means of developing narratives that explore issue of race, feminism and community. She learned quilting from her grandmother, who had learned it from her mother, a former slave.

Ringgold's work has been exhibited in major museums around the world. Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.