ALABAMA in the MAKING: Traditional Arts of People and Place is a traveling exhibit featuring the people of Alabama, whose faces, voices, stories, and music will present the folklife traditions of their families and communities. As the keepers of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and aspirations, Alabamians will share their traditions with you. Come explore, listen, see, and experience the cultures and landscapes of the Gulf Coast, the Tennessee Valley, the Black Belt, the Wiregrass, and the Southern Appalachians as expressed through traditional folkways and arts. While stirring up a pot of chicken stew, decorating a float for Mardi Gras, gathering up a collection of pine needles, or stitching together the blocks of a quilt, Alabamians are making a piece of Alabama. "Alabama in the Making" logo is a design derived from the "Alabama Soil" Quilt by artist, Sylvia G. Stephens. Alabama's official soil, a rich combination of textures and colors, inspired the making of the quilt. Daughter of National Heritage Fellow, Mozell Benson, Stephens studied the art of quilting as an apprentice, working along side her mother. Stephens has taught her daughter, grandaughters, and nieces, who represent the fourth and fifth generation of quilters and the next carriers of the tradition. The "Soil Quilt" is Alabama made and symbolizes ties to family, community, and the land. Stephens is an Alabama Community Scholar, recipient of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program, and she served on the Board of Directors for the AFA in the position of Secretary. She has also contributed to the AFA as an editor, author, and researcher.
Photographs Below and Exhibit Design by John Kelton of Kelton Design, Inc.
Come see me at the Gulf Coast kiosk and let me tell you about our foodway tradition called "Gumbo." For a short story click on the photograph of the late Dora Finley, a local preservationist, historian, and cultural leader.
Come see me, Jerry McGee, at the kiosk for the Tennessee Valley and let a collection of musicians, recording professionals, and songwriters tell you about our heritage and contributions to the development of the Muscle Shoals recording industry. Click on my photograph for a short description of my experience that led to my career in music.
Come see me, Augster Maul, at the kiosk of Southern Appalachians. You will find a quote by me and an iPad full of clips from documentary films exhibiting the heritage and sounds of the musical traditions of Sacred Harp, black gospel quartet, and country. Click on my photograph to link to the new web site featuring upcoming events and heritage of the profound and influential tradition of gospel quartets from Jefferson County.