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Our First Art of Storytelling Exhibit Comes to an End

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:

The next exhibit launching in January 2017 will feature Favianna Rodriguez, an Oakland-based Latina artist and activist with a mission is to create profound and lasting social change in the world. The exhibit will feature Rodriguez’s work that not only shines a light on women but also empowers them.

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