Art of the Spirit: Origin and Muse

The Art of Kathleen A. Wilson & Quilts of Linda J. Curry

WhenMonday, January 27 – Friday, May 23, 2014
LocationBiola University Library, Main Level


Art of the Spirit: Origin and Muse
The Art of Kathleen A. Wilson & Quilts of Linda J. Curry

Art of the Spirit presents the work of two Los Angeles based artists who draw upon the rich cultural heritage of the African American community. Their visually dynamic works continue in the tradition of the African “griot”—a poet-storyteller who serves as the keeper of a community’s oral history. Together they tell the story of a people, from ancient creation myth, the journey to new lands, through the bondage of slavery, to the contemporary African American experience.

The specific works on view represent several distinct projects.

The collection of original quilts by Linda Curry are inspired by the vibrant, colorful fabrics of native African cultures and often combine these colors in unexpected ways with animal prints and pictorial fabrics that that echo the native African landscape.

A complete series of fifteen paintings by Kathleen Wilson recount an ancient African creation myth and were published as illustrations of this story in a book entitled The Origin of Life on Earth—the text of this story accompanies each image. Also on view are selections from a series of digital illustrations that will accompany a forthcoming multimedia book on the African Diaspora entitled The Journey: A Musical Journey of the African Diaspora from Antiquity to Modernity.

Kathleen Wilson further explains the inspiration for her work:

This truly began back in 1984, during the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

At that time, Mr. Richard Lee Atkins—land developer, builder, businessman, and professor with a deep vision and a passionate heart for the African American community—gathered some of the communities’ outstanding business owners and cultural Griots to plan and develop an African American Cultural Village. We were host to African, Third World and Caribbean visitors attending the Olympics.

It was at that time that I thought about how the theme of the village could translate into a global community, for we were “Coming Together Again” as denizens of the world. An African Diaspora people physically separated yet one in spirit.

Art of the Spirit is the coming together again of heart, mind, soul, spirit of a community. It is a pure community springing from my spirit of creativity. I am lead by the Spirit, open to the impulse of the invisible, usable to speak through and committed to excellence.  ­

I’d like to dedicate this exhibit to my father Richard Lee Atkins in memory. 
- Kathleen Atkins Wilson


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