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Quilt now hangs in city hall
Project will be on display for a year
A quilt made by students at the Piedmont Governor’s School hangs in the lobby of the Martinsville Municipal Building. A square on the quilt depicting a dark-colored figure was the subject of controversy after city Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge suggested the figure was racially insensitive. However, after weeks of debate, city council voted last week to accept and hang the quilt. (Bulletin photo)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The controversial patchwork quilt designed by Piedmont Governor’s School students now is hanging in the lobby at the Martinsville Municipal Building.
City Manager Leon Towarnicki said the quilt was hung late last week “as it was presented to the city council in April,” without changes.
That means the stick figures that Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge said she found offensive remain attached.
Towarnicki and Mayor Kim Adkins said Tuesday afternoon they have heard no comments either for or against the quilt since it was hung.
On April 23, juniors in a research class at the governor’s school presented the quilt to Martinsville City Council to highlight their learning experiences in doing a citizens survey on behalf of the city.
Hodge said she was offended by a square on the quilt that depicted a dark-colored person on one side of Philpott Dam and a gold-colored person on the other. One student said the colors were chosen to show a person who lacked knowledge before studying the area and one who has gained knowledge.
Last week, the council voted 4-1 to display the quilt. Hodge was the dissenter.
A square on the quilt explains that it was designed by governor’s school students as part of “an investigation of citizen perspectives.” The city did not post a sign nearby denoting the quilt’s history and controversy, as some people had suggested.
Adkins said she thinks the lobby is an appropriate location for the quilt. She mentioned that another tapestry was taken down to make room for the quilt, so no rods or other devices had to be installed.
The quilt will remain in the lobby for a year before it is returned to the governor’s school, Adkins added.