Looking Out / Looking In
2021 Member's Exhibition



Cassandra Gunkel

Cassandra Stancil Gunkel began making books to support her first grade daughter's intensive reading and writing program. Twenty years later, that daughter works as an editor. As a teaching artist, she always incorporates handmade narrative histories into her curriculum when working with children or adults. In her own practice book arts practice she includes her own textile designs and block prints. She creates from her home studio in Philadelphia.

Route 1 Box 187 East

A birds eye view of my grandfather’s farm. The rural address was Route 1 Box 187 East.  I used both google maps and childhood memory to capture details of his and other black family farms where I grew up in rural Virginia Beach. Trees were special; hence the beads. They were play rooms, and giant yard art that I mowed around when  old enough. In architectural drawing style, simple denim rectangles recall the main house and numerous outbuildings. The main house, a design from Hampton Institute’s building program and graduates. The outbuildings range from a chicken coop and hog pen to a shotgun dwelling. In the 19th century that shotgun housed black tenant farmers before it became this rural community’s school, organized by black families when there were no other options. In the 1950s I.attended kindergarten there. My grandmother watched me walk the oyster covered path from her door and fed me lunch every day. I remember it well.

11 by 11
Fiber collage, hand dyed fabric, embroidery, beadwork

General Street

A birds eye view of family homes on General Street in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After loosing two homes to racist development practices in Norfolk, my grandfather bought a few acres of land in a rural black farming community in Virginia Beach. He offered lots to any of his 12 children. My family home was built just behind my grandfather’s. Uncles, aunts and cousins built homes to create a family compound. This textile map captures a few of those homes as they appear on a satellite view of General Street.

9 inches by 15 inches
Fiber collage, embroidery, beading

Looking Out, Looking In--Outgoing (a Covid Year of Post Cards)

During this year of Covid, I designed various postcard sized "quilts" to send to friends. This accordion book structure and box are a record of outgoing postcards mailed to friends from October 2020 through August 2021. Machine stitched to hand-dyed watercolor paper, the various postcard designs are pieced, block printed, or needle felted.

6 inches by 8 inches by 1.5 inches deep
Accordion book of textile page designs, machine stitched to hand-dyed paper

Looking Out, Looking In--Incoming!

"Incoming" is an accordion book record of textile postcards mailed to me by my quilting friends. Missing our twice-a-month meetings, I suggested this project as a way for our Friendly Quilter group to stay in touch by creating and mailing postcard-sized quilts to one another. Mail delivery had its problems over this Year of Covid, but these incoming postcards always provoked a return phone call, text or note. "Incoming" helped keep us connected over a year of isolation. Contributions from Cassandra Stancil Gunkel. Peggy X Forest, Gloria Brown, Dotty Allen, Emma Guion, Janet Byard, Linda Bodley, Linda Salley, Faye Minus, Christine Webb, and Christine Thomas.

6.5 inches by 8.5 inches, 1.5 inches deep
Accordion Book structure; quilted cards machine stitched to bristol paper. Book cover and box-archival binder's board, commercially produced batik