Anyone who grew up in Alabama with a knack for the Fine Arts knows about the Quilts of Gee's Bend. Or at least I hope so, for the sake of Southern ego and historical reference. "Gee's Bend", aka Boykin, is a small, rural community in south Alabama founded by freed slaves after the Civil War, and from generations of harsh poverty within the community sprung forth a cultural phenomenon in the art world. Now, you dont have to be a scholar in cultural identity to know that the poor have always composed the backbone of American culture in the U.S. (and by far the deep south), and that as poor Southerners, or just poor in general, you have to make due with whatever you have. Nothing goes to waste. This culmination of harsh living and limited resources ends up in extremely well crafted shapes and patterns of quilts created by the locals of Gee's Bend. To me, these works of art are parallel to the Harlem Renaissance, the influence of the Cubism and Expressionist movement, and much more. Their work has been shown internationally, and is in the collection of the MOMA. All of this, from a poor ass town in south Alabama.
for more info on the "Quilts of Gee's Bend", check out their website at www.quiltsofgeesbend.com