African Nova Scotian Quiltmakers Association
The African Nova Scotian Quiltmakers Association (ANSQA) is a society of African Nova Scotian quiltmakers who are interested in the preservation of African Nova Scotian quilt traditions and who also present exhibitions of their original work as well as give workshops on quiltmaking.
The Association was first organized in 2008 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia among a group of quiltmakers who were involved in hosting the Pictou County tour of Mary Bendolph- one of the Gees Bend quiltmakers from Alabama. (The Gees Bend quiltmakers are noted quiltmakers from an isolated African American community in Alabama whose exhibition The Quilts of Gees Bend had become an international hit). Initially most of the members were ‘pattern quiltmakers’, however in 2011 ANSQA undertook a project to create picture quilts based on drawings by African Nova Scotian artist, curator David Woods.
The resulting exhibition, the Secret Codes (still in progress) became a local hit and has been presented in regular showings art galleries across Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick since 2012. In addition to presenting exhibitions of members’ work, ANSQA also gives workshops quiltmaking techniques and presentations on little know African North American and African Nova Scotian quilt traditions. Members of the association range in age from 38 to 85 yrs.