Quilts designed and created by master quilter Sharon Tindall (AN) will be on display at the Manassas Campus from February 3 to 28 in honor of Black History Month. A reception to meet Tindall will be held February 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Colgan Hall exhibition space, with a discussion immediately after in the Library. Light refreshments will be served.
Tindall’s exhibition is called “The Underground Railroad Quilt Codes, Fact or Fiction?” She has conducted considerable research into how African-American slaves used patterns in quilt blocks to communicate Underground Railroad routes. Her examination of these quilt codes has taken her to such places as Charleston, S.C., and Monrovia, Liberia.
“The Underground Railroad quilt codes are about the freedom of African-American slaves and their daring escape,” Tindall said. “Quilts that hung in plain sight on clotheslines and porches contained secret codes that enabled slaves to follow paths to freedom.”
Tindall employs quilt patterns to preserve and share her African heritage. “Before conducting research on the existence of the Underground Railroad quilt codes, I wondered why my quilts were so unlike other quilter’s pieces. Now I understand that my textiles reflect my style and my unique heritage.”
Tindall received professional textiles training at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and has more than 25 years of experience in quilting and sewing. She enjoys sharing her passion for textiles as an instructor, speaker and commissioned textile artist. She teaches for G-Street Fabrics, NOVA and Morgan State University in Baltimore, M.D.
Tindall’s quilts have been exhibited in museums throughout Virginia, and she regularly shares her knowledge of the Underground Railroad quilt codes at schools, colleges, museums and organizations. Grants from the Virginia Community College System and the Virginia Folklife Program have helped her pursue her avocation.
The exhibition is free and open to the public in the Colgan Hall exhibition space from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, contact Art History Professor Barbara Lash (MA) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-257-6657.