Dawn Williams Boyd

Please, Mr. President

In Residence: April 14 – May 22, 2008
Opening Reception: May 22, 5:30-8:30pm
Exhibition: continues through June 13, 2008
Learning Labs: Colfax Community Network

Creative Resident Dawn Williams Boyd has created a magnificent quilt during her intensive six-week residency. Titled “Please, Mr. President” the six by eight foot hand-sewn quilt is comprised of a central figure, the artist, surrounded by the twelve children she worked with during her residency. Where her previous figurative quilt series “The Things Kids Do” represent children in a variety of situations, the figures in “Please, Mr. President”are portraits of the actual children she worked with during the residency, capturing both their inner dreams as well as their exterior personalities. The result is stunning: hand appliquéd, quilted, embroidered and embellished by hand.

Ms. Boyd’s quilt is surrounded in the gallery by twelve colorful quilts made by kids from Colfax Community Network. Each youth quilt is a self-portrait, four by four feet, and entirely hand sewn, appliquéd, quilted and embroidered and embellished by hand. With Ms. Boyd in the lead, Mandie Birchem from Colfax Community Network guided the children during the 19 Learning Labs. This could not have been possible without the support of dozens of adult volunteers, some of whom might also include their portrait quilts in the exhibition.

Working with Heather Nielsen at the Denver Art Museum, the kids had a personal tour of the Gee’s Bends Quilt Exhibition. And then, to all our delight, six of Gee’s Bends quilters came to PlatteForum to meet the kids, see their work and sing. What an amazing experience for everyone. Thanks to Heather Nielsen and the Denver Art Museum for making this possible.

The exhibition Me, Myself and I was installed at the, Denver City and County Building, 4th Floor Jury Room, July 2008 where thousands of people were able to see the work. Plus the project was featured on the Channel 9 News, in a story by TarHonda Thomas.

About the artist:
Dawn Williams Boyd has done extensive work in the Denver community working with the Denver Black Arts Festival and the Denver Kwanzaa Committee. She is currently a Director at ULOZI, a collective of African American visual artists. She has given multiple lectures about her art to students of all ages at Metro State University, Sankofa Arts Collective’s Back Do’ Studios, Ricks School at the University of Denver, the University of Colorado (Boulder), and Regis University. Dawn has had numerous exhibitions for her work (over 20 shows of note), both solo exhibitions and group exhibitions. In 2006, Williams Boyd was selected to be a part of The Best of Colorado Exhibit showcasing distinguished Colorado artists.