Jennifer Smith, Kristin Law and Sulynn Creswell look over quilts made by loacl artists Thursday at the Blackbelt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden. -- Jay Sowers
Jennifer Smith, Kristin Law and Sulynn Creswell look over quilts made by loacl artists Thursday at the Blackbelt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden. -- Jay Sowers

Selma Art Guild preparing to host quilt trail meeting

Published 9:53pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

Members of one local arts and crafts collaborative are working to patch together a quilt trail to celebrate the rich quilting heritage woven through the Black Belt.

Employees and volunteers from the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center, located in Camden, have held numerous informational meetings throughout the region to discuss plans for a quilt trail, and they are planning another meeting to take place at the Selma Art Guild at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 16.

“We are looking to use this trail to celebrate the history, both past and present, of quilting throughout the Black Belt region,” said Jennifer Smith, Americorps VISTA volunteer and educations coordinator at Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center.

Smith said the trail would one day include cell phone tours, signage, and demonstrations at important quilting locations across the 19-county region served by the arts center.

“The trail has been in the works for a couple years now, and we are trying to get anybody who is into tourism, or quilting enthusiasts, to attend the meeting,” Smith said. “We have found a good bit throughout the area to celebrate, along with everything in Gee’s Bend. People focus on Gee’s Bend, but there is really so much more out there.”

Bettie Morgan, librarian at the Wilcox County Library in Camden, was at the arts center Thursday taking part in a weekly crafting circle, and said she was excited for the attention the quilt trail would bring to Wilcox County and the entire Black Belt region.

“To bring people in from other locations is so important for Wilcox County, and we’ve found if people visit, they almost always come back,” Morgan said. “There is so much emphasis already on Gee’s Bend quilting, and that has really helped boost the interest in the area.”

Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center director Sulynn Creswell said this trail is the first the center is hoping to create in the future.

“This is a beginning point for us, in terms of trails, and it just seemed to be a natural outgrowth because we do have Gee’s Bend here in the county and we know that there is so much tradition in the Black Belt,” Creswell said. “This will be the first of a number of arts and crafts trails we will do across the region.”

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