57 Circuit Avenue
The Mariposa Museum in Oak Bluffs explores American history and experience through a diversity lens while celebrating diverse artists. This season’s exhibit, Freedom Songs, features history quilts by the Women of Color Quilters Network, Block Prints of Spirituals by renowned artist Ashley Bryan, and sculpture by former Newark policeman Kevin Blythe Sampson.
Opening July 4th and running through September 30, 2020.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. For evening group reservations, please call (508) 338-2779.
Admission: Adults $10 or free with gift shop purchase. Children free.
Masks and social distancing required. Numbers of people in the space will be limited at any one time.
Address: 57 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs (across from Union Chapel)
Freedom Songs! Featured Artists
Freedom Songs! is curated by Karla Hostetler and incorporates the work of Ashley Bryan, Kevin Blythe Sampson, and the Women of Color Quilters Network. We are grateful to the Ashley Bryan Center, the Cavin-Morris Gallery, and the Women of Color Quilters Network, for their collaboration in this exhibit. Freedom Songs! also features two rare artifacts — a carved ship’s figurehead (c. 1850) and a Nkisi Nkondi sculpture — in a section guest curated by Duncan Caldwell.
Ashley Bryan: Ashley Bryan doesn’t speak his stories, he sings them, fingers snapping, feet tapping, his voice articulating. His entire body is immersed in the tale. Born in 1923, Ashley was raised in the Bronx, NY. At 17, he entered the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, having been denied entry elsewhere because of his race. Drafted out of art school into the segregated US army at age 19, Ashley preserved his humanity throughout World War II by drawing, stowing supplies in his gas mask when necessary. Learn more
Kevin Blythe Sampson is proud of his father, Stephen Sampson, a civil rights leader for 50 years in the Elizabeth, NJ area. As a result, Kevin grew up in a civil rights household, where much of NJ’s 1960s civil rights activism was planned by leaders like Dick Gregory, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Robert Ferris Thompson, and William Kunsler. Congress Woman Shirley Chisholm, one of Kevins father’s mentors, was a frequent dinner guest. Learn more
The Women of Color Quilters Network is a non-profit organization* founded in 1985 by Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quiltmaking among women of color. It supports its membership through presentations, providing venues for sharing technical information, grant writing, and other services. It offers quilts and fiber art to museums for exhibition, and researches and documents African American quiltmaking. In recent years, the Network has showcased the work of its members before national and international audiences. An important component of the network’s activity is its use of quiltmaking in social and economic development projects. Educational projects and workshops foster exposure to the arts, creative development, and improved self-esteem. These programs present the benefits of quilting to audiences of all ages, income levels, ethnic background and learning abilities.
Thanks to the 6,000 visitors who made the Mariposa Museum’s debut summer in Oak Bluffs a resounding success last season!