The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami will host an auction of quilts from Gee’s Bend to benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in association with the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance on March 13. It’s open to the public (quilt reserves from $10-30k) and there will be no commission or other fees – so the proceeds will be completely channeled into the fund.
Quilters donating to the auction include Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta P. Bennett, Marlene Bennett Jones, Ruth Kennedy, Lucy Mingo, Nancy Pettway, Qunnie Pettway, and Stella Mae Pettway.
The Quilters of Gee’s Bend are designing a tribute quilt specifically for the auction, comprised of individual squares created by the group then pieced and quilted.
From the press release I was sent:
“The earthquake in Haiti brings to mind the disaster that took place in Gee’s Bend in 1930. My father, Rev. Purnell Bennett, born September 17, 1917 in Gee’s Bend, told us the story of the tragedy often to remind us how we overcame with the help of others. In 1930 a local merchant who had extended credit to the residents of the Bend died. His heirs demanded immediate repayment of all debts. To meet the demands, families sold their animals, tools and seed to raise the money. The community survived thanks to the Red Cross. They provided rations and the acts of giving, a lesson passed down from generation to generation in our community. We survived this tragedy with the assistance of others and that’s why we are giving from our hearts. Our quilts have warmed families for hundreds of years and through this auction we will raise funds that will provide Haitians some comfort and necessities. Residents of Gee’s Bend will donate cash to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to provide additional support,” says Lovett Bennett, President of the Gee’s Bend Foundation.