Courtesy: Eskenazi Health, Photo: Hadley Fruits
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Blues

Indianapolis, Indiana

Loretta Pettway Bennett

Eskenazi Health | Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital l 2nd Floor Yellow Elevator Corridor, 720 Eskenazi Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana, 46202
Owner:  Eskenazi Health (http://www.eskenazihealth.edu/)
Date:  2007
Placement:  hospitals
Collection:  Eskenazi Health Art Collection
Artwork Type:  prints (visual works), etchings (prints)
Material:  ink, paper (fiber product)
Description:  Blues is a 2007 print by Loretta Pettway Bennett. The print depicts a rectangular arrangement of blue, green, and cream colored blocks. Bennett creates small sampler quilts, which are transferred to an etching plate. Once the plate is wax coated and acid treated, it will produce highly detailed prints capturing threads, seams and fabric folds as well as color variation. The artwork measures 50.75 by75 inches framed. The artwork measures 37.75" by 48.25" framed. The work is a softground spitbite aquatint etching on paper, and is edition 3/50. These etchings were produced through Paulson Press (Berkley). This work is currently displayed in the yellow elevator corridor on the 2nd floor of the Eskenazi Hospital.

“At first, I would sketch my quilts and color the drawings with similar colors as the clothes or fabric from thrift stores. Sometimes the clothing itself would help me because I could feel something from the person who had worn that pair of pants, or skirt, dress or shirt.” -Loretta Pettway Bennett

Loretta Pettway Bennett is a fifth-generation quilter from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and one of the youngest to continue hand-stitching quilts in the renowned Gee’s Bend style. Her ancestry traces back to Dinah Miller, her great-great-great-grandmother, who, according to folklore and family history, was one of the first slaves to have arrived in the Bend. The community is distinguished by its concentration of interrelated women whose vibrant quilts have been made since the early 1800s. The quilt designs are unique takes on traditional quilt patterns, passed among the community and embellished through the generations by each individual maker. In 1980-81 they gained national attention through a documentation project done by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in the late 1990s an Atlanta-based folk art collector bought hundreds of the quilts and assembled exhibitions that still tour around the country.

The Gee’s Bend quilters have been profiled in numerous publications, newspaper articles, television programs, radio interviews and personal appearances, as well as 10 U.S. postage stamps and a play. Bennett’s work has appeared in numerous museums, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in numerous galleries, including the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle and the Paulson Press Gallery in Berkeley, California. Through the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), Bennett’s works have gone international. FAPE works with the U.S. Department of State to contribute fine art to U.S. embassies around the world in 140 countries. Bennett’s art was selected by FAPE and the U.S. Department of State and now hangs on the walls of United States embassies spanning the globe.

In honor of Grandmother Mae
Lisa E. Harris, M.D.
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