E Pluribus Unum, is the motto of the United States of America. But how many U.S. citizens actually know what it means. In my workshops, I always ask for a show of hands from those who believe they know the translation. Nine out of ten participants will respond with In God We Trust. While that’s a great motto to live by, the correct translation of E Pluribus Unum is Out of Many, One.
Originally adopted by our founding fathers, the Many were the thirteen original colonies. The One was the United States of America.
Today, we look to this motto as a symbol of the Many cultures that have come together to make up the citizenry of One country. A beacon of freedom, the U.S. boasts a compilation of cultures from around the globe. Walk down any street in America and witness the variety of people of every color, size and shape. The world’s cultural traditions are celebrated here in food, dress and festivities. Consider the many ways we worship: of course we trust in God, with so many modes of worship, why wouldn’t we? E Pluribus Unum…what a way to live!
E Pluribus Unum II: Cultures in Cloth (EPU II) exhibits fine art quilts representing the many cultures of Quiltart.com , the international online group that celebrates the fiber arts. The artists were challenged to create a 14″ X 14″ fiber collage that utilized some form of photo-transfer and told a story from their personal cultural history. Thirty-seven artists have submitted their work, with each piece as unique as the person who created it, showing us the culture(s) that inspire them to be who they are. The variety of fiber, quilt, surface design and embellishment techniques used by the artists provide a veritable encyclopedia of the quilting arts.
The art quilts of EPU II, along with artist statements, are available for viewing at the EPU II Gallery page. Please check regularly, as the thirty seven works of EPU II need much attention to understand the many stories depicted here. Enjoy the works and be sure to leave your comments at the link below this post.
To learn how you can exhibit EPU II quilts at a venue in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also available is the companion workshop, Cultural Cloth: Exploring and Expressing Our Cultural Histories.
© 2008 Ann Flaherty