A Community Quilting Project with Bayview Artist, William Rhodes

A Community Quilting Project with Bayview Artist, William Rhodes

Over the past few months, William Rhodes, a mixed media artist and educator based in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, embarked on a close collaboration with youth and seniors at Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, to co-create two exceptional quilts, which showcase intricately stitched portraits of our community members. This intergenerational art project aimed to foster meaningful connections between the younger and older generations, sparking creativity, storytelling, and cultivating a sense of mutual respect.

Having relocated to San Francisco in 2008, William Rhodes is actively involved as an artist and program director, working to establish and formalize programs that unite different generations. Drawing inspiration from African and Southern American Folk traditions, Rhodes views each stitched portrait as a historical testament to the individuals who have played a significant role in shaping the city’s identity. Rhodes has garnered recognition for his remarkable contributions to San Francisco’s Black communities, notably the Fillmore and Bayview neighborhoods.

Rhodes initiated the project by conducting interviews with members of our senior community, delving into their backgrounds, life stories, and experiences. With the help of acrylic paint and fabric, these narratives were artfully woven together, resulting in a vibrant tapestry that beautifully represents the enduring legacy of our community.

Next month, we are excited to extend a warm invitation to our community, donors, and staff for the first of our Black Storytelling Series events, featuring the esteemed artist William Rhodes. Commencing with a luncheon followed by a dessert reception, the event will provide an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the unveiling of the quilts. Additionally, the highlight of the event will be an engaging discussion between William Rhodes and another distinguished Bay Area artist, centered around the captivating theme of storytelling through art.

For more information on William Rhodes’ incredible artistry, visit his website here.

Dominic Dorsey
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