An art quilt created to celebrate the 33rd annual 2nd Street Festival in Richmond, Va. The quilt, made for this year's poster design, has a theme of preserving the past and making way for the future. It incorporates the portraits of Marsha Meekins and her grand niece and nephew, Amirrah Coleman and Mark Coleman. As a musician who has performed with her band at the festival 2017-2019, Ms Meekins represents both the past and present. She taught music for Richmond Public Schools for many years; and, in fact, she was the artist's band teacher from 4th through 8th grades. She has been a professional performer throughout the city and country; and she continues to perform and give private lessons. Ms Meekins also represents all of the amazing home-grown talent who have performed at the festival over the years which puts them in a place of history. The young ones represent the future as they are currently taking music lessons on the flute and trumpet, respectively, from their great-aunt. They also symbolize all aspirations of our youth who want to be future musicians and carry on the legacy that makes the Second Street Festival so special.
The art incorporates two Adinkra symbols that come from the West African country of Ghana. These symbols represent messages and were often used in the production of artisan crafts. The use of these symbols in African American culture gives them a connection to the continent of Africa that ties with strong traditions like crafts, dance, music, food, and fellowship; and are held as an integral part of the community, something the Second Street Festival represents. It also connects to the artistry of art quilts as Adinkra symbols were traditionally used in fabric design. The symbols used are Sankofa, which represents the importance of learning from the past, and Nkonsonkonson, which represents unity and community, and the strength that comes from both.
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