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AQS to debut Egyptian textile artwork
04
Mar '13
The American Quilter’s Society, headquartered in Paducah, KY, opens a new business channel for the Tentmakers of Cairo at AQS QuiltWeek in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 13-16, 2013. AQS will debut 40 new works in the exhibit: Stitch like an Egyptian by the Tentmakers of Cairo. Each piece in the exhibition was commissioned by the American Quilter’s Society specifically for this event. All the works were designed and handcrafted by the men on the Chareh El – Khiamia in Cairo, Egypt

Tent making was once a thriving art form in the Middle East; valued and prized enough to be found in Pharaonic tombs. Yet many economic and social changes in Egypt are driving this beautiful art to the edge of extinction. Decreased tourism and the wide availability of pre printed fabrics have severely undercut demand for these men’s work.

The American Quilter’s Society has signed an agreement making AQS the exclusive representative for exhibitions and sales of the tentmakers work in the United States. Each of the 18 shops in the marketplace of the Tentmakers in Cairo, Egypt, will now create and sell works to the American Quilter’s Society for distribution in the U.S.

Until now, the Chareh El – Khiamia (Market of the Tentmakers) in Cairo was the only place on Earth to enjoy and purchase these masterpieces. Australian curator Jenny Bowker noted: “They’re looking at new marketing systems to keep their families going and keep the tradition alive.” Over the past few years, many men have left work as stitchers to find other jobs.

The American Quilter’s Society has stepped up to help the Tentmakers of Cairo by coordinating the North American tour of the work of the Tentmakers of Cairo. AQS has already purchased over 140 works for display at their AQS QuiltWeek events throughout 2013. During these four international quilt shows, more than 50,000 people will have a chance to enjoy and purchase these exquisite works of art.

Speaking about the news, AQS Chief Operating Officer, Richard Louise shared, “We’re pleased to hear many men have been rehired due to the American interest. Offering people ways to share their creativity is core to AQS’s mission, and allowing them ways to support their family is icing on the cake.”

Two of the tentmakers, Tarek Abdelhay and Hosam Hanafy, will accompany the Stitch like an Egyptian exhibition to share their stories, demonstrate their appliqué technique, and pose for pictures with visitors. Each of the 18 shops is represented with items available for purchase. Works will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

American Quilter's Society

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