David Charity addresses hunger, human trafficking and other social issues through quilts

"These aren't your grandmother's quilts," said Marcie Emily, docent at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, while leading a tour through MANifestations, the twelfth biennial exhibition of quilts made by men. As she walked by each quilt, she discussed techniques, the price of the fabric, and which were hand-sewn and which machine-made. When she arrived at three black-and-white quilts with stark, violent lines and graffiti stenciled on the fabric, she froze; these quilts make her nervous. Looking more like Soviet agitprop than Amish crafts, one depicted a slave, another a starving child and the third a woman chained to a bed. Describing quilter David Charity's intent, Emily stumbled over the words "sexual exploitation," and then assured the group that despite the violent images, the artist was a warm and charming man and very good at explaining his own work. So Westword took the cue and talked to Charity about social issues, art, craft and gender in the quilting world.

See also: Fashion designer Jasmine Zion talks about her quilted vagina skirt

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris