By Kevin Ledgewood

The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will host a presentation of work by quilter and artist Yvonne Wells at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. The exhibit, titled “Seven Deadly Sins,” will open with a reception on June 6, 2014 from 5 – 8 p.m. during First Friday and will conclude on June 27. A poetry reading will also take place from 7 – 8 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre.
The exhibit is the compilation of seven quilts created by Wells from 2004 – 2006, all within the same theme. “I had heard about the Seven Deadly Sins for many years, but I wanted to do my own interpretation of each in an identifiable presentation,” stated Wells.
Yvonne Wells is a self-taught artist and retired physical education teacher, having taught in the Tuscaloosa public schools for most of her adult life. In 1979, during a major renovation of her home, she decided to make
her first quilt. With knowledge of how her mother, many years before, made utility quilts, she made her simple pieced quilt. The experience inspired her to create story and picture quilts that expressed the messages in her heart. Wells refers to herself an artist who makes folk art and her medium is the quilt. She is now famous for her signature picture quilts, which often include Biblical and civil rights themes. The artist sells her quilts at festivals and in galleries. Almost all of her work is displayed on a wall instead of lying across a bed. Her style has attracted attention far beyond Tuscaloosa, and in recent years her work has been featured in traveling exhibits at museums all over the country. Six of her quilts are now part of the permanent collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Nebraska. Wells has exhibited her work at Northport’s Kentuck Festival of the Arts for almost thirty years and has received numerous awards, including Best in Show.
Inspired by the talent the venue’s namesake generously shared, Ms. Wells created a Dinah Washington quilt and donated it to the Cultural Arts Center.
In addition to the quilt exhibit, the CAC will also feature a poetry reading in the Black Box Theatre from 7 – 8 p.m. The featured writers will be Jessica Fordham Kidd from Coker, Ala.; Holly Burdoff and P.J. Williams, both pursuing the Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at The University of Alabama; and Brian Oliu, Instructor in the Department of English at The University of Alabama.
The Arts Council Gallery hours are 9 – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. on weekdays and noon – 8 p.m. on First Fridays.
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, Call 758.5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.

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