The Art of Storytelling is an exhibit series that launched in August 2016 to celebrate the California Humanities’ first year in historic Swan’s Market in Old Oakland. The mission of The Art of Storytelling is to support local artists and engage community members in a rich dialogue about our past and present and what we can do to shape our future. Through this art exhibit series, we hope to shine a light on California’s rich cultural and artistic history with art that amplifies local-level voices and stories.
California Humanities and the Swans’ Market-based restaurant The Cook and Her Farmer joined forces on December 8th to say goodbye to the first exhibit in The Art of Storytelling series in the California Humanities headquarters. The exhibit features eight quilts and fifteen artists from the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland (AAQGO). The quilts tell a broad range of stories focusing on major historical events in Oakland.
Subject matter ranges from the annual Oakland Black Association cowboy parade in West Oakland, to the city’s blues and jazz tradition, and iconic landmarks in Oakland. The evening included a beautiful spread of hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by The Cook and Her Farmer, and remarks from Guild members Marion Coleman and Rosita Thomas. Coleman spoke about the creation and purpose of the Guild and provided information on the individual quilts in the exhibit, while Thomas provided a deeper context for the quilt she has on display. Called Power to the People, it is a textile tribute to the Black Panther Party, its community survival programs, and the 1972 10 Point Platform. Although the exhibit will come down at the end of 2016, it will be remain available to view on our website.
Watch the exhibit closing video: