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"A Tribute to Bill Bojangles Robinson and Debo Dabney"

By Unicia R. Buster

Art Quilt of cotton, fabric paint, thread, photos

45"w x 45"h

As you may know from a previous blog post, this year, I was selected to do the art for the 2nd Street Festival official poster in Richmond, VA. It was the first time a quilt artist was selected in its 32 year history. I was recommended by a fellow artist. They took a look at my website and loved my work. They thought my art quilts were paintings and were surprised when I told them they were art quilts. I asked if I could do an art quilt and they said yes. The unveiling of the art and the poster was Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond Cabell Courtyard.

The Second Street Festival is a music festival that celebrates the rich black history of the Jackson Ward neighborhood. Featured in the quilt are Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Herbert A. "Debo" Dabney III. Mr. Robinson was a Jackson Ward native and was known for his performances with Shirley Temple in movies such as "The Little Colonel" and "The Littlest Rebel." Mr. Dabney was a well known musician who performed all over Richmond and was a staple at the Second Street Festival performing 31 of the 32 years. He was known as the "piano man" for his talented skills with the keyboard. He passed away this year, April 9, 2020.

Also included are drawings of The Hippodrome Theater, originally built in 1914 as a vaudeville and movie theater; and the Taylor Mansion, originally built in 1907 as the home of Rev. William Lee Taylor. They are both located on 2nd Street and were renovated in 2011.

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