Dial met the quilters of Gee’s Bend in 2001, just prior to the opening of their first exhibition and subsequent rise to fame. Over the next few years, he created a number of tributes to the women and their triumph over poverty and obscurity. His piece Mrs. Bendolph is an ode to quilter Mary Lee Bendolph, rendered in an abstract grid of woven fabric strips that references the warp and weft of cloth, as well as fencing, prison bars, and the quilter’s ability to break out of the world of scarcity and struggle that once sought to confine her.


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