What’s Happening at the Library: Dr. Pearlie John discusses African-American quilts

Published 1:56 pm Saturday, May 18, 2019

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Thursday, the Clark County Public Library’s monthly Local History Potluck Supper program guest will be Dr. Pearlie Johnson presenting “Quilt Art: Examining the Narrative in Kentucky Quilts.”

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Based on historical records, secondary sources and oral history interviews with quilters across Kentucky, Johnson will discuss 19th Century quilts made by black women living and working on slave plantations, traditional quilts made by African-American women of the 20th Century, as well as contemporary art quilts made by women of all cultural groups of the 21st century.

Her program explores women’s history, storytelling, identity politics, social activism and empowerment.

Her study of quilts in Kentucky is aimed at examining cross-cultural parallels in technique and assemblage, as well as revealing unique designs.

Bring a dish and join your friends for this enlightening Local History Potluck meal. It is free and open to the public. Supper begins at 6:15 p.m.; Johnson’s program begins at 7 p.m. You may come at 6:50 p.m. if you prefer not to partake in the potluck. Either way, to ensure you have a seat, make a reservation. Call the library at 859-744-5661 or use the online Evanced registration system which can be accessed on the library’s website, clarkbooks.org.

Quilts are works of art, intimate, well-loved family heirlooms and important representations of personal, family and social history. Quilting has been practiced at the Clark County Public Library for decades.

The Clark Quilters, a group of talented local women and men have been meeting at the library since 1997.

Every Tuesday, the Clark Quilters meet in the Rose Mary Codell Brooks Community Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

When I get a chance, I visit because they are one of the most congenial and lively groups that meet here, and I am always astonished by the quality and colorfulness of their work.

Library board member Jane Venable Brown was one of the prime movers of the Clark Quilters. Through the years she donated scads of beautiful and instructive books on the art of quilt making. She also advised us about quilt book selection.

It is not a reach to say the library has one of the best quilting books sections in the region, if not the state.

If you are interested in quilting, look at the quilting section, call No. 746.46.

If you want to learn from pros and have fun while doing it, come to a Clark Quilters meeting any Tuesday morning. They welcome novices and experts.

Other programs this week?

— At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Kentucky Picture Show presents a 2018 film. The extraordinary true story of Army chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather. When war etches battle scars on their hearts, they face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage. Rated PG.

— At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Reference librarian Jeff Gurnee gives new poignancy to “What the…” exclamations with with Trivia Challenges at the Engine House Pizza Pub.

— At 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24, Write Local. What is the strange metallic object lodged in the cliff face above the village of Brione?

The new book bags are in. The 2019 Adult Summer Reading program begins Monday, June 3, at 9 a.m. Clean your glasses and get ready to read.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.