STITCHING STORIES: Thread, Needle, Narrative. The Quilts of Ellen M. Blalock

November 10, 2018 to January 12, 2019

The River of Knowledge and Death


Syracuse artist, Ellen M. Blalock is an accomplished multi-disciplinary artist who is known for her photography, video and fiber art. Ellen connects with the rich history of fiber arts found throughout the African Diaspora and her work is part of the African American quilting tradition of story quilts. Stitching Stories includes a broad array of her quilting work from the past 20 years as well as the first three quilts from a new series of work dealing with mental health in the African American community.

Ellen learned to sew at a young age often making clothes for herself and her family. In 1998, having just finished a family oral history project she decided to tell her own family’s stories through quilts and thus became a quilter. The collection of 25 quilts was exhibited at Syracuse’s Community Folk Art Gallery. Ellen has continued quilting throughout her artistic career, taking commissions, and creating work for sale and exhibition. She has exhibited her photography and quilts extensively throughout CNY.

Wisdom Seeker

In 2012 Blalock used quilting as a main component in a large-scale installation she created for the Everson Museum’s 2012 Biennial exhibition (“The Other New York”). The installation called “CAGE” featured three 8-foot pieces, quilted on both sides, and displayed so viewers could walk around the work. The installation, which also featured video, centered on homicide in the Syracuse African American community. Blalock wrote, “CAGE is a memorial for victims: the community, the families, the murdered, and the incarcerated, to remember, to search for truth and to forgive.”



This exhibition is made possible, in part, by funding
from the County of Onondaga, administered by CNY Arts.

Mary Bronner, Margrit Diehl, Lee Gatta, Julie Gozan & Tom Keck, Mike Greenlar & Linda Bogart-Greenlar, Sam Gruber,
Deirdre Neilen, Shirley & Larry Novak, Leon & Rosemary Oaks-Lee, Francis Parks, Nancy Keefe Rhodes and Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane

Donald Blair & Nancy Dock, Chana Bursztyn, Dik Cool, Bruce & Kathy Coville, Annemarie Deegan,
Bob Gates & Deborah Welsh, GEGENSATZ PRESS, Ruth Heller/1199SEIU, Joyce Homan, Mary Kuhn & Dave Thomas,
Kim & Steve Linkinhoker, Anthony Malavenda & Martine Burat, Sidney Manes, Jeremy McKay,
Lauren & Walter Melnikow, Fred & Diane Murphy, Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley, George Savage,
Laurie Gilmore Selleck, Vince Sgambati, Jeff Unaitis and Amy Zamkoff

SPECIAL BENEFACTORS:Onondaga County/CNY Arts, Anonymous, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation,
John & Dolores Brule, Caroline Cargo, Therese A. Deegan, Edgewood Gallery, Ann Jamison,
Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead and Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash

Walter Putter & Marilyn Smith

Become an Exhibition Sponsor!
A donation of $100 will list you as an exhibition sponsor.[wpedon id=”12338″ align=”center”]