Dr. J. Janice Coleman, Professor of English at Alcorn State University, was recently awarded a $500 Rapid Response Mini-grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) to assist in establishing a digital gallery of some of the works in her textile arts exhibit. Entitled “Quilts and Other Quadrilaterals,” Dr. Coleman’s exhibit, in addition to quilts, features cotton sacks, sheets, pillows, pillow cases, laundry bags, tote bags, pincushions, table runners, and bottle covers that she made over the last three decades. Some of her works are inspired by literature such as Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”, Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” and Elizabeth Keckley’s “Thirty Years a Slave” and “Four Years in the White House.”
The Mississippi Arts Commission is a federal agency which supports artists who have the potential to make lasting footprints as they enrich the creative culture all across the state. Dr. Coleman stated, “I feel honored that MAC has recognized my skill and talent as an artist. My work centers on my life in Mound Bayou, where I grew up, and the greater Mississippi Delta, which I got to know later on, yet it has statewide and even national appeal. I think that those who visit my gallery will see that.”
Serving as a consultant to Dr. Coleman in the establishment of the gallery will be one of her former students, Dr. Kimber S. Thomas, a 2012 Alcorn graduate, who is now the CLIR/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.
The grant period runs from January 19 to May 15, 2021.