Austinville Elementary School

February 8 - 12 News

Austinville Excited to Host Gee's Bend Quilters

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This coming Wednesday, the Gee’s Bend quiltmakers will come to Austinville! This is the second part of the artist lineup from Mrs. Beth Young's grant. Information may be found on this short video:

Gee’s Bend is a small community near the Alabama River in Wilcox County. It was once deemed as one of the most impoverished communities in the nation. Quilts were in high demand here because for most of the 20th century, residents lived in unheated shacks that lacked running water and electricity. In the late 1960's, the quilts got their first national exposure through the Freedom Quilting Bee in Camden. In the latter part of the 20th century Atalanta museum curator, William Arnett “discovered” them and became a catalyst by putting their art in museums around the country. They are now international stars. Their art can be seen in major museums throughout the world, including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Their art is often compared to the art of modern artists such as Klee or Mondrian. They have an amazing attitude of “take what life gives you and make the most of it.”

January 4-March 31

The Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit Gee’s Bend Quilts Free! (This could be a great field trip!)

February 14 The quilters will attend Cannan Missionary Baptist church in Hillsboro. This will be a great way to meet them.

February 15 The quilters will be at the Decatur Public Library to sign books.

February 17 The quilters will spend the day at Austinville. Kids will meet with them, learn simple stitches, and will learn about their history. They will also offer an afternoon workshop for parents, teachers, and kids. (Like our paint party.)

February 19 From 8:30-12:30 The Alabama Center for the Arts will offer a workshop with Mary Ann and China Pettway, two of the quilters. Tentatively from 6-7:30 quilters will sing and mingle at the Carnegie Visual Arts center.

February 20 1-3 quilters will be at the Turner Surles center in downtown Decatur to sing, quilt with the community, and have a roundtable discussion. The entire public is invited. The Decatur Youth Enrichment Center will sing with the ladies, and the entire public will be invited to sing, talk and quilt.

Quiltmaking in Gee's Bend

The quiltmakers of Gee's Bend first garnered attention for their skills in the 1960s, when the Freedom Quilting Bee, a sewing cooperative that produced quilts and other sewn products for department stores, was established. The Bee provided women with an income and a sense of independence during the tumultuous Civil Rights era. In the mid-1990s, while researching African American folk art in the South, art collector, William Arnett became interested in the history of quiltmaking. After seeing a photograph of Gee's Bend quiltmaker Annie Mae Young standing with one of her quilts, he visited her and the other accomplished quiltmakers in the community. Working together, they organized the acclaimed exhibition The Quilts of Gee's Bend in 2002. The overwhelming response to the show led to a renaissance of quiltmaking in the area. Since the 2002 exhibition, younger artists have been inspired to pick up needle and thread and older quiltmakers who had abandoned the practice took it up again. The current exhibition, Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt, showcases much of this new work.

~ from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Teachers Gather for Monthly Discussions to Find Interventions for Struggling Students

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Flurries Bring Changes to Scenery and a Few Minutes of Fun!

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First Priority Enrollment Sees Increase This Semester

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Fourth Grade Science Students Enjoy Hands On Activities

Student Council Spreads Love to Teachers on Valentine's Day

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Mrs. Rose Stirs Love of Reading During Library Time

Decatur Heritage Students Share Time with Second Grade

Valentine's Day

Health Nurses Conduct Winter Health Screening

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Our Workweek

Mark Your Calendar


  • 4 - Progress Reports Went Home
  • 15 - President's Day - Schools Are Closed
  • 16 - STAR Testing (Math) Week
  • 17 - Gee's Bend Quilters Visit Austinville
  • 19 - Clubs
  • 22 - ACT Aspire Practice Testing Week