The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 3, 2013

Quilter, fiber artist to be featured at Museum for East Texas Culture exhibit

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Quilter/fiber artist Mildred Thibodeaux of Oakwood is the featured artist for the Museum for East Texas Culture during the months of January and February.

The museum will hold an opening artist reception 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday in the museum’s art gallery.

“A 150-year tradition of quilting existed in my family before I was born, an offspring of African, Native American and the Irish Hailey family,” Thibordeaux said. “I learned to quilt from my mother, Iona Newsome, and my Aunt Ida Mae. They were taught by their mother. Much to my satisfaction, occasionally some people say that my culture origins are reflected through my work or that a particular quilt has a mystical quality.”

Thibodeaux is committed to using the structure of the traditional handsewn quilt, hoping to create meaning within its lines and spaces.

“The potential of the quilt seems endless in its capacity to show light, color and social significance. The possibilities are awesome,” Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux’s first major show was in 1987 at the George N’Namde Gallery in Detroit. Her next showing was December 1993 at Urban Park-Detroit Art Center, a fund-raiser for REACT With Love Inc. (Resource Endowment Aiding Children Together), a charity devoted to providing services to mothers and children with AIDS.

“In this show, the earliest dated works employed the use of hand dyed African fabric and other symbol forms,” Thibodeaux said. “The quilts made later were composed of geometric designs emphasizing spatial relationships and attempts at imparting the perception of light and motion.”

Since committing herself to create fiber art 25 years ago, her work has evolved into fine art, which is best exemplified by her tapestry wall hangings.

The exhibit will be on display through the end February. The museum is located at 400 S. Micheaux St. For more information, call the museum at 903-723-1914.