Public Hours: SAT & SUN Noon-6pm
3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD, 21224
Beacon of Light is an exhibition highlighting the quilting circle, Angel Quilters—comprising both seasoned and novice quilters— who are shining a light on the color and splendor of life. They hail from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and they eagerly offer their creative artistry in mixed media. These artists and quilters evoke expressions of cultural pride, humanity, resilience, faith, kindred ties, encouragement, inspiration, and a united voice echoing hope in challenging times.
Exhibition On View: OCT 14 - DEC 3, 2022
Opening Reception: OCT 14 | 6-9pm
Linda Mose Meadows
Linda Mose Meadows does not recall a time when she was not intrigued by art. All of it seemed to grab her attention, but she never considered herself an artist until recently. After moving to Baltimore, a dear friend invited her to join the Angel Quilters at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church. After making one traditional quilt, she realized that she could combine her love of art with quilting. She envisions her quilt subjects as being active and interactive, and she uses mixed media to embellish the finished project. Many of her subjects are family members; their personalities are engaging and proud and express the love they share. Linda uses African fabrics, yarns, cowrie shells, beads, and photographs to depict subjects such as family, love, the African diaspora, and God’s presence in her life. Her work is described as fabric art as opposed to traditional quilting; nevertheless, she applies many principles of traditional quilting in her work. She has been creating these works of art for just four years and is thoroughly addicted to the creative process.
Carol Burnside is an Episcopal priest who grew up in the segregated South. An aspiring quilter, she moved to Baltimore in 1999 and was thrilled to be in a city with so much history and unabashed quirkiness. In 2008, she met and eventually joined African American Quilters of Baltimore. After being released from a congregation in 2014, God spoke to her about her purpose in life. Knowing that young Black men growing up in Baltimore City have an 80% chance of being dead or in prison by the age of 25, she became determined to create quilts with messages about systematic racism and white privilege. Her hope is that through this effort, other white people will learn some of what she has learned along the way. She became a grandmother two years ago, so a few baby quilts sneaked into her collection, but her main goal is to make quilts which speak to this devastating crisis in American life. She is hopeful that the messages in her quilts will speak to others and move them to work for social justice in our communities.
Amy Powell's first attempt at quilting was in 1981, when she enrolled in a class in a local high school’s evening craft program. The technique was “lap quilting,” and what she learned was that this was not for her, as it took almost eight months to complete one quilt. Eighteen years later, she tried again with the help of a few new quilting friends. She quickly learned new techniques that made her experience quilting engaging and creative. Following several devastating personal challenges—her mother's dementia diagnosis, the sudden loss of her only brother, and her own breast cancer diagnosis—Amy was fueled by a desire to express herself through quilting. Over the last 23 years, she has become an accomplished traditional quilter, having made more than 100 bed and lap quilts and scores of other quilted objects. She has taught numerous quilting classes to all age groups and has exhibited her quilts in a wide variety of venues. Along with six new and experienced quilters, she founded a quilting guild in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Sisters of the Cloth Quilt Guild, Inc. has since grown to over 40 members, and she remains active and committed to their projects. Additionally, in 2016 a major Hollywood studio purchased and used one of her quilts in the motion picture “Almost Christmas”, which starred Danny Glover and Mo’Nique. Undoubtedly, the quilts she has made over the years will become her legacy—proof that someone who calls herself “The Original Amy” walked on planet Earth and had an intense passion for making quilts, almost all of which she has given away.
Marilyn Sifontes grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania and fondly remembers spending time with her grandmother, who was a quilter. As her grandmother quilted, Marilyn used to pick up little scraps of fabric to make small quilts for her dolls. Many years passed before she realized she wanted to become a quilter. In 1997, she met renowned quilter Dianne Simpkins, who taught her to quilt and helped her start a quilting group at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Buffalo, New York. The group made many quilts and exhibited them at The African Culture Center and Burchfield Penney Art Gallery. Marilyn led the group until 2015, when she moved to Pikesville, Maryland. There she met quilter Amy Powell, where they eventually started Angel Quilters at St. Michael’s & All Angels Episcopal Church. In 2018, Marilyn moved to Atlanta and joined Brown Sugar Stitchers and Quilters, where she is responsible for the ribbons for Show and Tell and collecting charity quilts for the Sickle Cell Unit at Grady Hospital. Her style of quilting is mostly traditional, and she especially loves bright colors and working with African fabrics. She continues to learn new techniques and expand her knowledge of quilting, a process she genuinely loves.
Eugenia Starghill was introduced to quilting by a church member who encouraged her to join a small group of quilters. Through this group, Eugenia learned to use tools and templates and was immediately inspired. When she cut her first square, it was a good feeling. Quilting was something she could do by taking baby steps. She used the nine-patch for her first quilt and was proud of the results. As a part of the Angel Quilters, she learned to make Texas Star squares to be donated for a national patriotic quilt. When her group was asked to make a banner for an upcoming youth convention, Eugenia helped with the design, fabric selection, and construction. The finished product was a modern Afro-centric banner of St. Michael with dreads slaying the dragon. She is proud to be a novice quilter who has come a long way in a short period of time.
Joyce A. Sturgis
Though Joyce A. Sturgis learned quilting as a young child, she did not become an avid quilter until she retired. Paper piecing is her favorite technique, and she strives to create intricate and compelling designs with great passion.
Patricia Wilson has been a seamstress since she was 12, when her mother and grandmother taught her to sew. In addition to being inspired by her mother and friends to create her own quilt, she also finds inspiration in the work of the Gees Bend quilters and Faith Ringgold's narrative quilts. Patricia is a beginning quilter and feels privileged to have joined the Angel Quilters. Over the years, Patricia has contributed to quilts that were produced by others, but she is now proud to create her own work on the theme of creation.