BTG: Local Artist uses art and history to tell new stories

Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 16:47:41-05

Stephen Towns is a local artist who defines bridging the gap. He looked at the violent history of America’s past to find answers to his questions about the violence of today. His research into Nat Turner’s rebellion led him to create a body of work that will be featured at the Baltimore Museum of Art from March 7th through September 2nd. The Rumination and A Reckoning exhibit will feature Towns’ quilts depicting the life of Turner.

While Towns says he never learned about Nat Turner's rebellion in school, it was a story that blew him away.

“This story, This very violent story…did lead to the civil war and did actually eventually lead to the freeing of the slaves.”

It was a story he felt had to be shared.   

Towns has been painting since he was five years old but says painting just didn’t work for this passion project.

"I tried drawing out the idea, I tried painting the idea and it just never worked. So, I finally just decided that it was something that I had to quilt. It's large it's expansive and it’s a tradition that has been used by African Americans for centuries." Said Towns

Before starting this project, Towns didn’t know how to sew. He learned by watching YouTube tutorials.

"Making quilts is hard, Making a body of work is hard. I 'm not an expert but I’m making nice beautiful things and it’s good to be praised for it and have people see it." 

For more information on Stephen Towns work click here