African American Quilters of the Gulf Coast

african american quilt in the museum of the gulf coast in port arthur texas

Extraordinary Artistry

Local quilters will display works in “African American Quilters of the Gulf Coast” in the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s Dunn Gallery from Oct. 1-Dec. 3. Quilters from Texas, Louisiana and Florida will display  “extraordinary artistry.” This is a first-time collaboration from the museum in conjunction with the National African American Quilt Guild.

families posing by the quilts at the museum of the gulf coast in port arthur texas
Photo Credit: Callie Summerlin

Opening Night

Artists attended opening night, with more than 20 quilts on display.

Photo Credit: Robert Fong

The Quilters

NAAQG co-founder Rhonda Masters has been making creating these works of art for a decade.

“It is such an honor to work with the Museum of the Gulf Coast to make this exhibit a reality. Our quilters are thrilled to be able to share their work with the wonderful, diverse audience of museum members and visitors here in Southeast Texas.”

Beaumont native Georgia Williams, now of Houston, has three pieces in the show.

“I have quilts on display in Ohio and Florida, but I’ve not had a chance to show locally. I am excited to be in this exhibit so my friends and family in the Golden Triangle will be able to see my work.”

woman taking a photo of a colorful african american quilters association quilt at the museum of the gulf coast in port arthur
Photo Credit: Callie Summerlin

Avant-Garde to Traditional

“The craftsmanship and artistry displayed in this exhibit are amazing. All of the quilts are very beautiful, and we have so many artistic styles: African, avant-garde, political and traditional themes are all represented,” Robert Fong, museum curator, says.

african american made garments and quilts at the museum of the gulf coast in port arthur
Photo Credit: Robert Fong

Guild Motto: “Celebration, Education and Service!”

Quilting colleagues Rhonda Masters, Laura Casmore and Sharon Mooney of Texas founded the National African American Quilt Guild in October of 2021. The group encourages creativity, promotes and facilitates education in the art of quilting and celebrates the heritage of African American quilting while serving the community at large. The group of 22 continues to grow.

Port Arthur native Laura M. Casmore, is a quilter of 20 years. She has exhibited in various quilt shows locally and across the country. Using primarily African fabric designs, along with black and white fabrics, her works display her love of faith and culture.

Rhonda Masters, also a Port Arthuran, has a lifelong interest in sewing and quilting. Her paternal grandmother and aunts quilted, and her mother sewed. She works with traditional fabrics.

Sharon Mooney is the co-curator of the “Access Delayed: African American Suffragist’ Courageous Influence on the 19th Amendment” Suffragette exhibit, which premiered at the International Quilt Festival in Houston,  in 2021. As the exhibit’s co-curator, Mooney worked with the group of talented quilt artists to realize the vision to honor the role of African American suffragettes in the passage of the 19th Amendment. She was also the exhibit coordinator for the NAAQG Inaugural Exhibit: “A Celebration of African American Quilts and Fiber Arts.”

For more information on exhibit hours, artists and the Museum of the Gulf Coast, contact Curator, Robert Fong, here.

  • Share this story!