Color Wheel: Stereotypes

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Color Wheel: Stereotypes
50 in
41.5 in
Photo Credit
Harold D. Snider
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In 2004-05, I visited many quilt stores in search of fabrics featuring humans. I became aware of racial stereotypes as presented in fabrics. Whites were portrayed as snow/ biker/beach babes, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, or muscle men. Asians were depicted as cartoon sushi chefs and geishas. Black people were athletes or faceless African women. Hispanic/Latino people were Flamenco dancers and musicians. Native Americans were noble and elegant, or kachinas. Often, people of color from other parts of the world were given white skin.

The concentric background circles represent the relative percentages of racial groups in the United States (hence the flags) based on the 2000 census. Because the U.S. is sometimes referred to as the “melting pot,” I mixed fussy- cut fabric images to balance shapes, textures, and colors, recontextualizing and telling a new story. I bound/beaded the edges using colors that are traditionally found on the four sides of the Native American medicine wheel.
Cotton, bias tape, permanent markers, beads
Fussy-cut images from multiple sources, machine quilted, hand-sewn beaded border

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