Artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm presents her contribution to “Past Is Present,” an exhibition curated by Jonathan Square
“redLines” is a 426-foot quilt that functioned as a table runner during “At the Crossroads: A Community Meal,” a project conceived by artist Seitu Jones that explored food insecurity and food deserts in Indianapolis. The racial landscape of Indianapolis, like that of many American cities, is defined by redlining, the practice of real estate agents using financial mechanisms to steer black homebuyers away from predominantly white neighborhoods.
The quilt is constructed from strips of fabric that include segments of an actual, red-lined map of Indianapolis. Storm uses the African American tradition of quilting to explore the impact of redlining and racial capitalism and how it has led to unequal access to nutritious foods in Indianapolis.
Piecing: Ruth Edwards (Lead), Vernon Edwards, Tracey Laswell, and Shamira Wilson
Quilting: Trish Williams (Lead) Phyllis Boyd, Stephanie Robertson, and Shamira Wilson
Jonathan Michael Square is a writer and historian specializing in fashion and visual culture of the African Diaspora. He has a PhD in history from New York University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from Cornell University. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and currently at Harvard University. He has written for Fashionista, Fashion Studies Journal, Refinery29, Vestoj, Hyperallergic, British Art Studies, and International Journal of Fashion Studies. A proponent in the power of social media as a platform for radical pedagogy, he founded and runs the digital humanities project Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom, which explores the intersection of fashion and slavery. Visit his website here.