The Art of Storytelling


Quilts of Oakland

California Humanities is celebrating its first year in historic Swan's Market in Oakland by launching The Art of Storytelling Exhibit Series, sharing the work of artists with a humanities twist. We seek to amplify the East Bay’s rich cultural and artistic history and people with art that amplifies local voices and stories.

Our first exhibit features quilts with an Oakland-themed narrative by members of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland. From the Black Panthers to the fire of the Oakland/Berkeley Hills, these beautiful and detailed quilts help us to understand and visualize what makes up the unique perspective of Oakland.

Please join us for an opening reception and meet us and some of the Guild’s artists as they discuss the quilts on display, their creative process, and what we can learn about Oakland from their art:

Thursday, August 25, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 PM

6:00 PM Remarks by:
Marion Coleman: African American Quilt Guild of Oakland 
M. Gayle (Asali) Dickson: former Black Panther Party member

California Humanities
Swan's Market

538 9th Street, Suite 210, Oakland, CA 94607

This event is free and open to the public. Register below. 

Light refreshments will be served. Quilts of Oakland is available to view by appointment from August 26th through October 26th.

Please scroll down for a preview of some of the quilts that will be on display. 


Niambi Kee
Oak town Blues
41 x 26 Inches
Oak town Blues represents the many cultures, ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic groups that call Oakland “Home,” as does its distinctive and recognizable skyline.


Rosita Thomas
Power to the People
40 x 45 Inches
The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland 50 years ago. This quilt is a tribute to some important, but less well known facts about the Black Panther Party, their community survival programs and 10 Point Platform.


Marion Coleman
37 x 42 Inches
Firestorm interprets the fire that occurred in the Oakland/Berkeley, CA hills in 1991.


Ora Clay
Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame
35 x 43 Inches
The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Inc. (BFHFI) and its co-founder, Mary Perry Smith were the inspiration for this quilt. The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Inc. was a program of the Cultural and Ethnic Affairs Guild of the Oakland Museum of California. The BFHFI held a star studded Oscar Micheaux awards Celebration each February at Oakland’s Paramount Theater from 1973 until 2006.

To learn more about the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland, please click HERE.