Oakwood Arts' East End Quilt Collective explores and celebrates the history of our neighborhood and East End Cemetery using art and technology.

The Project

Over the next year, we will host a series of multigenerational community programs centered on East End Cemetery, a historic African American burial ground just minutes from Oakwood Arts and the surrounding East End neighborhood. These will include tours, presentations, and workshops and will culminate in the creation and exhibition of a large-scale collaborative art piece: a quilt of handmade cyanotype images representing East End's rich legacy.

This summer, aspects of our classes at our partner organizations, Blue Sky Fund and the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, involved the documentation of the landscape while delving into the history of the cemetery and the community it served. This fall, we will be partnering with the Salvation Boys & Girls Club to continue to research and design an exhibition for the final piece. Others will concentrate on researching the site and creating digital negatives of historical photos tied to East End Cemetery under the guidance of longtime cemetery volunteers. These archival images will be used to print photorealistic cyanotypes on fabric, which will then be pieced together using a mix of hand and machine sewing. We hope to work with seniors and other members of the community to assemble the quilt, keeping in mind traditions native to our region.

Our Collaborators

Oakwood Arts will be collaborating with Brian Palmer and Erin Hollaway Palmer, professional journalists and founding members of the Friends of East End Cemetery, will begin guiding program participants through the history and sociopolitical terrain of the cemetery.

Unicia Buster, a textile artist and graphic designer, is also working alongside us to oversee the production and assembly of the quilt.

You can stay up to date on this project through our weekly and monthly events, as well as by signing up for our newsletter or following our Instagram page.


sponsored in part by the Cultural Equity Grant