Saturday, July 25, 2015

91 Days

91 Days
A Tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr
4' x 4'

George Junius Stinney, Jr.

1929, October 21: BIRTH
Alcolu, South Carolina, USA

1944, March 23: 2 white girls ages 8 and 11 beaten to death.

1944, March 24: ARRESTED along with his older brother, Johnnie; Johnnie later released.

[His sister Amie said he was with her during the estimated time of the killing.]

[Stinney's cellmate, Wilford Hunter, said Stinney told him, “I didn't, didn't do it.”]

When Stinney was arrested, his father was fired from his job at the sawmill. His family was ordered to leave town immediately or endure retribution.
Fearing for their lives, they fled.

Without family visits and support, this unsophisticated boy had to endure his trial and death all alone.

1944, April 24: TRIAL 2:30PM: trial begins


SHERIFF [only evidence]: “Stinney confessed”
[no written record; NO corroboration.]

DEFENSE: politically ambitious TAX ATTORNEY,
asked for change of venue; DENIED. 

NO other witnesses were called.

5:00PM: Jury sent to deliberate.

5:10PM: Jury issues verdict, “GUILTY”.

Stinney's Attorney chose NOT to appeal.

1944, June 16, 7:30PM: EXECUTION
Stinney was too small [5'-1”, 95 pounds], for the adult sized electric chair.

Phone books and/or the Bible he carried to his execution were needed for a booster seat in order for him to get strapped in and reach the electrified helmet.

2014, December 17 CONVICTION VACATED.

This project started in December 2014 when I answered an invitation from Jennifer Marsh, [Dream Rocket project and others], to create a tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr. After reading about this case, I felt compelled to make a tribute. My art will join that of others in a traveling exhibit. 

 Because of recent events in South Carolina and Texas, where people were judged by the color of their skin, I believe this exhibit is more important than when I began.  The persecution of people because of the color of their skin has to STOP!

For more information about Stinney, check out the links below.

These both show the photo I used to make the portrait.


Thursday, July 2, 2015


This small quilt evolved from my emotions when looking at the scans of a baby at 20 weeks.  The whole story is below.  I created it for the 'Sacred Threads Exhibit ' in Herndon, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.  It will be on display July 10 - July 26, 2015.  Hope you have a chance to attend.

11 3/4" x 35"

Precious, detail

The Story:

In October 2014, I saw scans of a baby at 20 weeks of age. I was totally surprised at the development. The open eyes really caught my attention. What did the baby see? I could not get this image out of my mind. At this time, I was also told that it is a viable birth. Because the parents did not want to know the sex ahead of time, I could not call this little one he or she. I did not want to call the baby an it. I thought the baby very precious. Thus, Precious, became the baby's name.

As the holidays passed, I still thought about the images I had seen. I wanted to share these with others. I had known about Sacred Threads. Upon discovering the show was this year, I emailed the mother of Precious for copies of these images. From these images, a quilt was developed specifically for the Sacred Threads exhibit.

While new technology allows me to print in any color, my design decisions included printing the images in black and white so that they look like photographs.

I chose the color yellow for many reasons. Yellow is the lightest hue of the spectrum. It is also the color of the room where the newborn Precious will sleep. Yellow is considered uplifting, illuminating, full of hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Yellow is considered the best color to create enthusiasm for life. It is said to awaken great confidence and optimism.

The color yellow is also the color of the yolk of an egg, nourishing the growing embryo inside its' shell. Thus, it symbolically nourishes Precious in the womb.

I chose the color purple because it symbolizes spirituality, creativity, dignity and royalty. Purple is also the most powerful visible wavelength of the electromagnetic energy field.

I decided to do a gently gathered border, using a very soft fabric because I thought the baby needed to be cuddled.  This turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be.  However, with knots of gold thread holding it in place, my vision came to life.

I am sure all will agree this child is very Precious. Definitely worth more than gold. Thus, I used gold thread as a symbol of the worth of this spirit filled being.