This Week in Youth
Tina Williams Brewer's fiber art reveals her exploration of African American cultural identity, channeling messages from the ancestors, notions of family, spiritual life, and cultural history are intertwined in patterns, symbols and sewn lines. Often described as art quilts, Brewer's creations act as fiber story maps. Inspired by the Lukasa memory boards, [these are] wooden mnemonic devices to reinterpret oral traditions and events, her story quilts function as guide posts for both well-known and hidden paths of how we experience this world. Similar to the way memory boards reveal layers of knowledge through a special interpreter, Brewer's work operates on multiple levels and with many layers of meaning.
Using color and transparent cloth, Brewer finds links between past, present, and future. As Brewer explores her heritage and the African Diaspora, she likens her path to an archaeological dig. She investigates and carefully unearths what is hidden to understand history more fully. There can be an urge at times to cover up the pain of the past and move on. She recalls that her mother had reservations when she began creating art that dealt with the difficulties of slavery, racism, and loss of identity. Through conversations, her mother came to understand that Tina's intention did not stop at addressing pain or shame, but wen further to acknowledge the history, and understand the origins. Her work reminds us of the necessity of retelling stories of our collective past.
Tina Williams Brewer is a teacher and dedicated resident artist for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & Media Artist Residency Program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Tina Willams Brewer is known for her artistic exploration of African-American history and the personal experiences that come with it. She uses symbolism, textile, and fabrics to create story quilts motivated by issues focusing on family, women, and children, and the spirituality of the African and African-American diaspora.
For more than 50 years, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has been a champion for youth, art and education in Pittsburgh. Historically, MCG has hosted an annual juried arts exhibition where talented students from Pittsburgh Public Schools competed for accolades and awards. The MCG Invitational continues this tradition of serving Pittsburgh area high-school students. By providing this opportunity, the MCG Invitational will highlight talent, reward achievement, and encourage hope among those who might otherwise be overlooked.
The MCG Invitational seeks to recognize excellence and extol achievement demonstrated by youth in urban and economically disadvantaged communities. By heralding these values, this exhibition will reward meritorious students with cash awards, prizes and post-secondary education scholarships.