Article By RITA
Images By: G.J.
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 23 December 2011 12:54 PM
“My quilts tell secrets” she whispers.
Green spent her childhood making hand-stitched quilts with her grandmothers. Since her personal interest is working with clay, however, she decided to blend the two media.
Green says she never has a particular goal in mind as she creates her pieces. “Working with clay is therapeutic, whether I am throwing on the potter’s wheel or hand-building,” she says. “The quilts are conceptual; it is the ceramic process that feeds my spiritual need to create.”
The artist uses symbols, shapes and colors to hide things that are uncomfortable for people to talk about. “In some pieces, the silhouetted images are the perpetrators,” she says. She uses her work to “document the contributions of my African-American ancestry through figures, sculptural forms and vessels.”
Green, the mother of two, says her mission is as much about promoting ceramic education as it is about selling her pieces, which also include ceramic vessels and figurines. Her ceramic quilts range from 9-inch squares to 6 feet.
Her proudest moment as an artist came a few years ago when she was commissioned by the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs to create a massive ceramic quilt that is displayed at Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library in southeast Oak Cliff. The title of the series, which includes five “spirit” quilts, is “Fulfilling the Dream Along District Line.”
“After I completed it,” Green says, “I rediscovered my love for teaching, with no interest in pursuing a career in public art.”
The commissioned piece is not only about the historical figures for whom nearby schools are named, but also the spirit of the community, Green says. On Saturday afternoons for eight weeks, she collected impressions of library patrons’ keepsakes.
“In addition to the personal keepsakes, I worked with [Dallas] historian Donald Payton to identify important landmarks” and memorable events in Dallas’ black history, some triumphs and some tragedies.
These days, Green is a part of the ceramics program at Tarrant County College and also works with Fort Worth ISD teachers and students. Last year, she worked with 14 teachers on a mural project for their schools.
“At this point in my near-50ish life, I care more about my legacy as an artist and educator than about producing work to sell,” she says.
WHERE TO FIND THE QUILTS
Green, who prefers working in blue-green and red-violet hues, sells her ceramic quilts starting at $500. For more information, visit earlinegreen.com.