Watch Us Grow

Watch Us Grow

Just like squares on a quilt, isn’t it just amazing how things can come together so beautifully? When Ms. Deb, a teacher in our Gerber Education Program, began to work with our youth to create an auction quilt for the 17th Annual Festival of Quilts, she needed some help to pull the project together.

"With spring coming, I was planning a flower unit in art," Gerber art teacher Ms. Evelyne, said. "Then, Deb asked if our kids could work on the quilt squares in art class this year.  I asked if she was okay with a flower theme and when she was, we combined the projects."

Ms. Evelyne's art lesson focused on two American artists who use flowers in their work: 20th century artist Georgia O’Keeffe and contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley.

"These artists inspired the students a lot," Ms. Evelyne said. "They really liked how Kehinde incorporates flowers in the background and wraps them around the figures in his art. And Georgia was the first artist to zoom in on flowers. They were also groundbreakers in that Georgia was an early female artist and Kehinde is a black artist, so we talked about how each created movement in the art world."

Ms. Evelyne gave the students an extensive list of flowers and shared the symbolism and meaning behind each flower. When it came time to pick one to paint on their fabric square, many students chose flowers that had meaning to them.

"The students were super excited about the project," Ms. Evelyne said. "To look at flowers and art throughout time was interesting to them and learning the symbolism of flowers and using them to tell their stories with their fabric square was something they enjoyed doing. Afterall, quilts often do tell a story."

Using the students' flower artwork, Ms. Deb completed the stunning auction quilt. It's the third straight year Ms. Deb has worked with our kids to create a quilt for the Festival auction. It's a project they love to do because it gives them to chance to give back in a special way. This year's quilt is appropriately named "Watch Us Grow." It beautifully represents our youth and their journey at Cunningham where they can heal, learn and grow.

For the opportunity to bid on "Watch Us Grow" or any of the other amazing auction quilts or to purchase items from the gift shop or boutique, make sure you REGISTER for the 17th Annual Festival of Quilts. If you plan participate in person, make sure to reserve a ticket and time slot!

Questions? Contact us at (217) 367-3728.