view one of her pieces I am taken aback – similar to the way a great jazz tune
moves beyond category and registers in your spiritual subconscious.”
—Samuel W. Black, Curator of African American Collections at the Senator John Heinz History Center
Tina Williams Brewer was born in 1949 in Huntington, West Virginia and currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Arts and has been creating art for more than forty years.
Known for her story quilts, Williams Brewer uses symbolism, textile, and fabrics to explore African-American history, generational healing, and the spirituality of her culture. Speaking of her work, Williams Brewer states, “through my work I tell a story, carrying messages from ancestors. My work is a celebration of the profound joy of gathering with loved ones and the strength of spiritual connections. It is an expression of the deep pain of racism and the pathways forward, the resilience of African American families and the light that lifts them up. My intention is to give dignity to human suffering, finding rhythms that are both mind-stirring and soul-soothing.” Williams Brewer’s pieces are primarily hand-quilted and collage mixed-mediums including photo transfers, printmaking, and hand-beading. Each piece is embellished with symbols drawn from African nations and rich colorful fabrics with patterns that allude to both cultural meanings and personal history. Her process creates complex, layered compositions that function as maps investigating her heritage, the African diaspora, and the links between past, present, and future.
Tina Williams Brewer’s work has been widely displayed both locally and internationally including exhibitions at the United States Embassy in Ghana and the American Craft Museum in New York City. Her work has been recognized by the American Arts in Embassy Program for more than twenty years, and she is the recipient of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and The African American Museum of Dallas. Recent exhibitions include 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair, NYC, chosen by Omar Berrada, EXPO Chicago Curated Selection by Eric Shiner, Christies, Rockefeller Plaza, NYC, “Knotted Ties”, DeBuck Gallery NYC, “Threaded Memories” and Untitled Art Fair, Miami Beach, 2021, chosen by Natasha Becker, Curator, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA.