Lecture with Carolyn L. Mazloomi

Carolyn L. Mazloomi is an artist, author, historian, and curator acknowledged as being among the most influential African American quilt historians in the United States.  Widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, her quilts have been included in five exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.  Her artwork can be found in numerous important museums and corporate collections, such as the Wadsworth Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, American Museum of Design, Bell Telephone, the Cleveland Clinic, and Exxon.  She has appeared on television shows such as CBS Morning Show, Reading Rainbow, The Today Show, CNN, and has been the subject of several film documentaries. Dr. Mazloomi is one of six artist commissioned to create artwork for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum.
In 1985 she founded the Women of Color Quilters Network, an international organization with a membership of 1700, which has been a major force in fostering the fiberart works of African American people.  Through Dr. Mazloomi’s effort WCQN members have had their quilts presented in venues such as prominent museums and galleries, and in internationally traveled exhibitions. She is a frequent consultant for art exhibitions, authors, and historians.
Beijing, China was the setting for an international quilt exhibition curated by Dr. Mazloomi as part of the United Nations Conference for Women held in 1995.  This exhibition resulted in the publication of the book Star Quilts (Streelekha Press, Bangalore, India) which she co-edited.  She is also author of the book Spirits of the Cloth (Random House)given the “Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year” award by the American Library Association.  Her books and exhibition tours include, Threads of Faith, Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition (2007) and Quilting African American Women’s History Our Challenges, Creativity and Champions (2008), The Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Celebrating President Barack Obama (2009) and Quilting a Culture: African American Quilters of Ohio (2011), And Still We Rise: Race, Cultural and Visual Conversations (2014), Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela (2014) and Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience (2018), and Racism: In the Face of Hate We Resist (2020).
In 2003 Dr. Mazloomi was awarded the first Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award. Ohio Heritage Fellows are among the state’s living cultural treasures.  Fellows embody the highest level of artistic achievement in their work, and the highest level of service in the teaching and other work they do in their communities to ensure that their artistic traditions stay strong.
In 2014 Dr. Mazloomi has given the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award, the highest award in the nation for traditional art.  She was also inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame Museum the same year.
Mazloomi has been involved in the economic development of women through the arts for over thirty years, and has been recognized by the International Labour Department in Geneva and the United Nations for her efforts.