Internationally renowned artist visits Cass County

By Ben Woods

An internationally renowned artist visited Cass County last week. Karl W. Wilkes, artist, playwright and filmmaker, visited the Pleasant Hill Quilters on August 25 after one of his art pieces was found in a storage shed by Sandy Lanier. 
   “Sandy Lanier found one of my pieces in a storage building she purchased.” Wilkes said. “She called me to find out if it was real.” After speaking with Lanier, Wilkes planned a visit with the Pleasant Hill Quilters.
The Pleasant Hill Quilters performed their Secret Codes of the Underground Railroad act for Wilks. The ladies performance explained how the conductors of the Underground Railroad would use quilts with distinct patterns to show them where to go, what was near or if a residence was a safe house. They also sang many songs that the slaves would have sung some of which had hidden meanings.
 Karl spoke after their performance and told the ladies how much he loved their skit and wanted more people to be able to see it. Karl showed two different art pieces called History Lesson #5 and 40 acres both of which he explained the meaning and what he wanted the viewer to take away from the pieces. 
Wilkes also gave the Pleasant Hill Quilters a print of History Lesson #5. 
Wilkes was Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks’ personal artist for seven years and is currently touring all 105 historically black colleges and universities supporting the White House initiative. 

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