Acclaimed Quilt Artist Phyllis Stephens Launches First Limited-Edition Fine Art Portfolio Documenting Stories of “The Stolen Girls” of the Civil Rights Movement
A Tribute to the Children of the Civil Rights Movement
Preview Exhibit, House of Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York March 27, 2010
(March 10, 2010) – Internationally acclaimed quilt artist Phyllis Stephens – today announced the publication of her first fine art limited-edition portfolio and quilt storybook entitled For Crying Out Loud. The creation of the portfolio stemmed from an article printed in an Essence magazine, June 2006 article entitled “Civil Rights Movement” by Donna Owens. The article reported on the brutal and horrific treatment of 33 girls wrongfully arrested and imprisoned in an abandoned Civil War stockade. The For Crying Out Loud portfolio will be previewed March 27, 2010 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm during a special meet-the-artist reception to be held at the House of Art Gallery, located at 373 Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. The gallery will also host a special screening of the emotional and inspiring, award-winning documentary ,, 1963 produced, directed and written by Travis W. Lewis and Richard J. McCollough.
The profound impact of the article on Stephens inspired a historical visual documentation of the children within the civil rights movement. “The article stopped me in my tracks, I literally could not move. My mind raced with questions, images and dumbfounded curiosity. What kind of human beings could incarcerate little girls for participating in a freedom march? Where were their parents? Why would they, at such a young age, be involved? “Stephens explained.
The boxed portfolio is comprised of eight limited edition Gicl‚e prints and quilt story book published by Platinum Fine Art Publishing and Fine Art Concierges. The story book contains a certificate of authenticity with the foreword written by famed politician, diplomat and pastor Andrew Young. The portfolio is encased in a cloth-embossed box. The edition of 90, with 9 artist proofs and 9 embellished remarques were published under the careful supervision of the artist.
“The quilts contained in this portfolio document the strength, faith and courage of the children and young adults committed to making a better way of life for all of us,” stated Richard Beavers, curator of House of Art Gallery. “This will be one of the most significant fine art portfolios of the 21st century.”
The gallery will also host a special screening of the award-winning documentary LuLu and the Girls of Americus 1963, on March 28th from 2pm – 4pm. This powerful documentary is an original and untold civil rights story of young people in the rural, and then segregated, town of Americus, Georgia. The focus is on several children who became aware of racial injustices at an early age. Trained by members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) they were beaten, arrested and unrightfully jailed for six weeks in an abandoned civil war stockade where they faced the most inhumane treatment, including sexual abuse while being locked up.
“I have heard many of the stories of the stolen girls over and over again,” stated Stephens. “Each time I hear one of the stories, something new is revealed to me, and each time I feel a little freer. I am so thankful to everyone who walked that hard road to freedom. Because of them, my road is easier.”
For additional information about the exhibit or screening, call 347-663-8195 or visit the Web site at www.nychouseofart.com.