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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Arts buzz makes few changes for rural Alabama quilters

Brightly colored quilts, handmade by Mary Lee Bendolph and her neighbors, have enthralled museum-goers across the country for four years, hailed by curators as "jazz on the wall" and seen as a breakthrough of mainstream acceptance for Southern folk art.

But for Bendolph, a 70-year-old resident of tiny Gee's Bend, Ala., national fame has meant little change beyond a bit more money to buy material for her quilts - though there's still no "big ol' store" in town and the nearest shop is an hour away by car.

"They say I'm famous, but I don't know enough to be famous," Bendolph said, breaking into a laugh during an interview from her home in the dirt-road community of 300.

Read the full article on Alabama quilters here.

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