Concept Gallery
Live Auction

Women of Visions Benefit Auction

Sat, Dec 10, 2022 10:00AM EST
Lot 11

Ruth Bedeian Heritage sculpture

Estimate: $1,800 - $2,400

Bid Increments

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Bedeian, Ruth, Heritage, chair sculpture with mixed media, fiber, beading, and shells, 48 x 22 x 22 inches. "A life size chair decorated with fabric, cowrie shells, cording, straw, copper wire, and includes a paper sculptured head piece as a protective guiding figure. The chair uses a number of Adinkra symbols that refererence ideal qualities for women, such as patience, strength, kindness and a reverence for the wisdom of elders. Shown in the exhibit “Seats of Power” at the August Wilson Center in 2019. It is based on grooming rituals for African American women, sitting between the knees of mothers, grandmothers and aunts, all telling stories about family and teaching lessons about life." Artist Bio: Ruth Bedeian was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She is a visual artist and retired Visual Arts Specialist for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, where she taught for thirty four years. Ruth is a formally trained artist with a B. A. from Mansfield University. Ruth attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh for English Literature. Her media is primarily fiber, though she has a background in painting, calligraphy, design and mixed media. For many years her focus has been quilting where she tries to meld many of these skills. Through her quilts she explores her African- American heritage, personal history and the traditions of Africans before America. Much of her influence comes by way of African American Literature which was a specific focus of her studies. For Ruth the poetry of Jean Toomer and Langston Hughes as well as the novels of Zora Neale Hurston, are just as impactful as the the collages of Romare Bearden, the paintings of Jacob Lawrence or John Biggers. Ruth likes to think that her work explores what W.E.B. Dubois called, “The Souls of Black Folks.” Inspiration is also taken from a variety of textile arts, masking traditions and African mythologies. She began her journey inspired by a great grandmother who made traditional quits from discarded family clothing. While initially viewing herself as a painter her love of color and pattern transformed itself into quilting. She moved away from geometric patterns to free forms which allowed for more exploration of Africanisms. She was a founding member of the First African American Quilt Guild in Pittsburgh. As a member of the Women of Visions artist collective she draws knowledge and inspiration.


Mentored by international sculptor Selma Burke at its founding, Women of Visions has sustained 40 years in the city of Pittsburgh as the only non-profit collective of African American women visual artists. Women of Visions mounts group and collaborative exhibitions, teaches classes to people of every generation, and networks to build relationships in the arts and lay community both in and outside the city of Pittsburgh. The members of Women of Visions represent a diverse range of lifestyles and artistic experiences; thus rich and varied expressions of personal, social, and political views are presented in each exhibition the group organizes. Over the course of 40 years, Women of Visions has continued to nurture and support professional and emerging women artists of color, and to bring to the general public the full richness and scope of our cultural heritage. Currently, Women of Visions is the oldest women’s organization of its kind in the country. They have experienced the years of both revolution and evolution. Now, with the country’s historic placement of a woman of color in the role of Vice President of the United States, this historic organization seeks ways to push themselves and their art to the next level. As part of their growth strategy, Women of Visions has inducted 16 new members in one year, amplified their mission with ground-breaking exhibitions, and are poised to pass on their legacy of establishing “excellence in the visual arts” to the next generation of African American women. In 2021, Women of Visions was awarded the title of “American Cultural Treasure” by the Ford Foundation and Heinz Foundation. For more information visit Merchandise will be packed and transported by the purchaser at their own risk and expense. A list of recommended shippers is on our website: .
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