Tina Williams Brewer | Cultivation: Journey of the Work

On view in the Robertshaw Gallery.

Tina Williams Brewer is a storyteller and through her multi-layered quilts she shares stories about life, myth, history, and her own heritage. This exhibition examines the artist’s 40-year journey of self-discovery, teaching, and linkages to cultures not always found in the history books.

Artist Statement

Each one of us travels through life cultivating, creating, improving, and growing their own personal journey. Cultivating awareness and the ability to access wisdom and resilience in the midst of chaos is the driving force behind my creative process. My work is a celebration of the profound joy of gathering with loved ones and the strength of the spiritual connections. When I create a piece, I need silence to listen to the words inside myself.  As a woman and as an African American, looking for a place of peace and calm, I am guided to create a visual interpretation of those channeled spiritual connections. Each piece is embellished with symbols and articulated with rich colors and patterns that have personal and cultural meanings, acting as a reminder of the often-obscured African American story.
It has been the teachers, students, family, friends and neighbors that have cultivated and planted the seeds necessary for my individual growth. Countless personal encounters with the many children I have taught have allowed me a humble space to grow and nurture my own seeds. 

The theme of “living waters” can be seen throughout my life’s work. They are cleansing, healing and refreshing to the soul. It now takes on new meaning in my Oar Up or Down series. It is about choices: whether you are going to put your oar into the water and deliberately choose a path or take your oar out of the water and submit to the passive but faithful spirit of the water.
Cultivation: Journey of the Work is intended to provide a reimagining of our authentic and inclusive history and is a guide into a truly truthful realm. The sankofa bird reminds us of the importance of reaching back to the knowledge gained in the past and bringing it to the present to cultivate a new empowered future.

Tina Williams Brewer, 2022

Tina Williams Brewer was the recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts, and in 2009, she was designated Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Her work is in such collections as the African American Museum, Dallas, TX; the State Museum, Harrisburg, and The Westmoreland, among others. Tina Williams Brewer is represented by De Buck Gallery, New York.

Join us for Art After Hours with Tina Williams Brewer, Friday, February 26, 6-8pm.

The evening will include a Meet & Greet with Tina, an art scavenger hunt, musical entertainment, light refreshments, and fresh libations! Cost: $10 member/$12 non-member/$15 at the door flat rate (Includes one complimentary drink; cash bar available) To get your tickets, click here!

All exhibitions are supported by the Hillman Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Free admission to exhibitions is generously supported by UPMC Health Plan.