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Carolyn


L. Mazloomi

Carolyn L. Mazloomi

She // Her // Hers

[ID: Carolyn, an African American woman with short natural hair, wears a purple shawl, turquoise rings, and smiles at the camera.]

Quilter
West Chester, OH
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Anonymous.
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Carolyn Mazloomi is a quilt maker. Mazloomi describes herself as an African American woman who was born in the Jim Crow–segregated South and continues to survive the psychological and physical violence of white supremacy.

Her birth has shaped everything about her life. She believes quilts as visual media pose an alternative and nonthreatening approach to social issues about people and events that are embedded in the American memory as sensitive cultural parameters of race, class, and gender and labeled as the “tough stuff of American history.” She uses her artwork to prompt a dialogue between the artist and the viewer, challenging existing notions and posing questions that serve to move the discussion of racial reconciliation forward into the next generation of problem solvers.

Widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, her work is part of the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, NC, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is also included in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

She has been awarded the Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award and the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award, the highest award in the nation for traditional art. She founded the Women of Color Quilters Network, which has been a major force in fostering the fiber artworks of African Americans. Mazloomi has curated twenty-five quilt exhibitions and written fifteen books about African American quilts.

Portrait photo by Rezvan Mazloomi.

carolynlmazloomi.com
  • Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi
    The Peacekeeper’s Gift, 2019. Cotton, cotton batting, acrylic paint, paint sticks, and ink printed, stenciled, hand painted, and machine quilted, dimensions 63 × 73 inches. Photo by Jay Yocis.
    [ID: A Black African woman poses regally in printed draped attire, gazing forward, and seated with a white baby in her lap. In the backgound, other pregnant women and armed United Nations soldiers stand among cylinder huts with peaked thatched roofs. The image is cradled by an arch of large reddish-yellow flowers.]
  • Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi
    Strange Fruit, 2016. Cotton, cotton batting, acrylic paint, paint sticks, and ink printed, stenciled, hand painted, and machine quilted, dimensions 71 × 61 inches. Photo by Jay Yocis.
    [ID: Billie Holiday's profile floats in the night sky above trees where lynched Black people hang. Ku Klux Klan members stand below the trees with a United States flag. The quilt is framed by a leafy border.]
  • Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi
    Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, 2019 – constant work in progress. Cotton, cotton batting, paint sticks, and ink printed, stenciled, hand painted, and machine quilted, dimensions 72 × 120 inches. Photo by Jay Yocis.
    [ID: A critique of the American flag with the stars replaced with a pattern of a Black man with a target on his chest and his hands raised, red stripes with the names of Black people killed by the police in white font, and the alternate stripes filled with a larger underlying graphic of Black people packed into a slave ship.]
Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi Artwork by Carolyn L. Mazloomi