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Gee's Bend Quilt Show Coming to Dexter Senior Center

Jan Dolland will showcase the work of poor African-American artists on Oct. 18.

A new exhibit that brings to light the bold and dynamic quilts created by a group of women who live in the isolated community of Gee's Bend, Ala., is coming to the Dexter Senior Center on Oct. 18.

Michigan resident Jan Dolland will showcase the quilts and talk about the community of Gee's Bend, an all-black community founded by poor free slaves after the Civil War.

During the Great Depression, the town's women developed a quilting style based on traditional American (and African-American) quilts, but with a geometric simplicity. The women of Gee's Bend passed their skills and aesthetics down through at least six generations to the present. Critics worldwide have compared the quilts to the works of Henri Matisse and Paul Klee.

The event is a fundraiser for the Dexter Senior Center. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. All proceeds will go to the center's operating budget. Quilts will be available for viewing but are not for sale.

"The women of Gee’s Bend make quilts that are eye-dazzlingly beautiful," director Kim Martini said. "We thought this would be an interesting cultural program to bring to Dexter."

The program will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 18. For more information, call 734-426-7737.

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