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Linda D Clark

Louisiana Bendolph / Mary Lee Bendolph / Loretta Bennett
Leola Pettway / Loretta Pettway / Qunnie Pettway / Tinnie Dell Pettway



Gee's Bend is a rural, predominantly African American community southwest of Selma, Alabama, located on a peninsula created by dramatic bends in the Alabama River. This exhibition examines the ongoing aesthetic practice of artists rooted in the Gee’s Bend tradition. The quilters of Gee's Bend are widely known for the commanding visual presence of their work. Their compositions vary widely from minimalist constructions to intricately pieced geometries—often with unpredictable sequences of patterns, bold colors, and a fearless resistance to rigid grids. For many, their inventive improvisations suggest jazz riffs and bring to mind the innovations of 20th century modernism. In 2005 four of the quilters — Louisiana Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta Bennett, and Loretta Pettway — began producing limited edition etchings with Paulson Bott Press in Berkeley, California. The collaboration offered the opportunity to explore the possibilities of translating their designs in a new medium. The Gee's Bend Tradition includes fourteen contemporary quilts, as well as eight limited edition etchings, and fabric maquettes used in the process of producing the prints. This exhibition was organized by Lehman College Art Gallery and curated by gallery director Susan Hoeltzel.

A related exhibition, Linda Day Clark: The Gee's Bend Photographs, features the work of Linda Day Clark, who began photographing the Gee's Bend community in 2002 when she worked in the area as a freelance photographer for The New York Times. A separate study installation includes photographs of Gee's Bend from the 1930s taken by Arthur Rothstein and Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division).

Gee’s Bend (now officially known as Boykin) has its historic roots in the plantations of the Gee family, and later their relatives the Pettways, who bought land in Alabama for a cotton plantation in 1816. Many of the current residents are descendants of the slaves who were brought to the plantation that once occupied the site. For many years Gee’s Bend remained relatively isolated by its geography, one of the factors contributing to its unique style.


"The Gee's Bend tradition; An Exhibit of Contemporary Quilts," Barbara Pflaumer. Foreground Magazine, Spring, 2015

"To the Ivory Towers! Robert Barry at Hunter, Quilts at Lehman College," Andrew Russeths, ArtNews, March 24, 2015

"Gee's Bend Quilts in 2 Shows at Lehman College," Martha Schwendener, The New York Times, February 19, 2015

"Lehman College Art Gallery examines the aesthetic practice of artists rooted in the Gee's Bend Tradition," artdaily.org, February 17, 2015

"Rachel B. Hayes," Site Specific by Karin Bravin, January 14, 2015, http://karinbravin.tumblr.com

"Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind," Art Experience: New York. Summer, 2014

"Beyond Castro/Más Allá de Castro," The Bronx Free Press Volume 5 - No. 15;
 April 9 - 15, 2014

"Exhibition Close-Up: Cuban America in the Bronx; A double interview with the show’s co-curators," Cuban Art News. April 8, 2014

"Primer Plano de la exposición Cuban America en el Bronx; una entrevista con los cocuradores de la muestra," Cuban Art News. April 8, 2014

"Nuevas poéticas del discurso artístico cubano," Dennys Matos El Nuevo Herald.
April 5, 2014
(See the PDF version of the printed El Nuevo Herald)

"Cuban Identity: Beyond the Island, Past the Revolution," Jeffrey Guard Cortinas The Bronx Art Exchange. March 26, 2014

"Art Gallery Explores American Through Cuban Eyes," Kristopher Charles
The Meridian. March 21, 2014

"Cuba Reconsidered," Maya Rajamani The Riverdale Press. February 20, 2014

"Printmakers Pushing the Envelope of Their Art" "Collaborating with Artists to Make a Good Impression," James Palmer. The Riverdale Press. November 28, 2013.  p.B1

"Morphology of the Print: Contemporary Printmaking Exhibition at Lehman College Art Gallery," artdaily.org, October 31, 2013

"Keeping New Media New: Conserving High Tech Art," Art News, October 23, 2013

"Lehman College Morphology of the Print," NYC Gallery Openings, by ODelle Abney, October 22, 2013

"October Surprise; Something Special at Lehman College Art Gallery,"
The Bronx Art Exchange. October 22, 2013

"No Words, Just Print. New Exhibit Explores Innovative Medium,"
The Bronx Free Press. October 9, 2013

"Conserving Digital Art," The Leonard Lopate Show. WNYC. Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"When Artworks Crash: Restorers Face Digital Test," The New York Times, June 9, 2013

"What Are We Still Mapping For?," Hyperallergic, April 25th, 2013

"The Mapmakers," The Envoy, March 23rd, 2013

"Artists 'IN' the Bronx Bring Energy of the Borough to Their Art," The Riverdale Press, March 14th, 2013

"Borough artists to showcase best of Bronx talent at 2nd annual Bronx Day event at Armory Show 2013," NY Daily News, March 6, 2013 —  PDF

"Charting a New Course," Bronx Free Press, February 6 – 12, 2013

"Family Focus," Time Out New York Kids, February – April, 2013

"Artists ‘map’ out their creativity in a new exhibit that re-invents and re-imagines the craft of map making," New York Daily News, January 31, 2013

"On the Art of Invading Spaces," Art Experience NYC. Fall, 2012

"Space Invaders," NY Arts Magazine. November, 2012 "On View –

Lehman College Art Gallery Presents "Space Invaders," The Architect's Newspaper. Monday, November 26th, 2012

"Space Invaders @ Lehman College," Blog: The Pit. Mixed Greens. Monday,
November 12, 2012

"Things to do," Time Out New York Kids. October 18, 2012

"Invaded Spaces at Lehman College," The Envoy. October 15th, 2012

"Go for stillspotting but Stay for the Bronx: 10 Great Things to See," Hyperallergic. October 11, 2012

"Invaders at Lehman; Filling the Spaces - with Lots of Imagination," The Bronx Free Press. October 10 - October 16, 2012 p.16

"Artistic Invasion of Lehman College Life," The Riverdale Press. Thursday,
October 11, 2012


Susan Hoeltzel, director – susan.hoeltzel@lehman.cuny.edu
Mary Ann Siano, grants associate – mary.siano@lehman.cuny.edu
Hannah Brenner-Leonard, education curator – hannah.brennerleonard@lehman.cuny.edu
Yuneikys Villalonga, curatorial assistant – yuneikys.villalonga@lehman.cuny.edu


New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
New York City Council through Andrew Cohen, and the Bronx Delegation
New York Council for the Humanities
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation
The Keith Haring Foundation, Inc.

Edith and Herbert Lehman Foundation
Robert Lehman Foundation

The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation
TD Charitable Foundation
Special Thanks to Cabot Creamery


The Robert Lehman Endowment,
The Edith and Herbert Lehman Endowment, and
The Pierre and Dorothy Brodin Endowment for Arts Education


Andrea Arroyo, Chair
Virginia Cupiola, Vice-Chair
Elisabeth Lorin, Vice-Chair
Vincent Leheny, Treasurer
David Bicks
Ricardo Fernández
Samuel Reed
Judith Solodkin
Madelon Delany Stent
Dannielle Tegeder

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