Primary Source Description

Fela Kuti Panel Primary Source Description:

The panel in the image is the panel of Nigerian musician/pioneer of Afrobeat music. He was also popular for being a civil rights activist in Nigeria.

The panel features a completely black background that helps complements the bright colors presented on the quilt above. Other important things featured on the quilt are a picture of Fela Kuti surrounded by beads, his name presented in large letters across the panel that also contain a multitude of unique patterns and colors, his year of birth and year of death, a large cutout of Africa presented in the color purple, what I believe to be an AIDS ribbon but with an African pattern on it, various musical notes covered in the same African pattern, and three unknown symbols containing unique patterns from each symbol.

The pattern printed on the musical notes seem very similar to that of the pattern on Kente cloth. The vibrant colors can show very significant and important messages for political messages and religion. Red represents death, green represents fertility, white represents purity, blue represents love, gold represents wealth and white represents purity. These colors are not seen “connected as one” on other parts of the quilt only exclusively the musical notes and hearts located under his name. I feel this is trying to convey the message that no matter the race, religion, and/or political of any one person, music connects us all in life and death, rich or poor, and the purity of love. African patterns are not just meant for design but meant to carry important messages and emotions of many cultural religions, societies, groups, and/or countries. The color pattern represented in the AIDS ribbon can be interpreted as love and stability. The shells surrounding his image are cowrie shells. It is believed to have many purposes throughout Africa, but for this specific piece I believe it represents power and prosperity. I believe it represents the success of Fela Kuti through his lifetime for the many changes and ideas he spread throughout society all over the world, not just in Africa. The letters on his name are in four different patterns: a black and white pattern, purple, silver, and red. Lastly, the image of him is in black and white, mot likely a picture of him when he was very young, possibly performing in front of an audience.


Andrew Lowry Panel Primary Source Description:


The panel above is the panel of Andrew Lowry, the best friend of Roddy Williams, Director of Operations at NAMES Project Foundation.

This panel initially stood out to me because of the the unique border that surrounds the block (pictured below). There are fewer than ten of every block created that are surrounded by the special pattern of the border. The pattern on the border does not have any specific meaning but are located on blocks of those who have contributed significantly to the NAMES Project.


At first glance, it is very clear the most vibrant/colorful part of this panel is his name. It easily catches the eye with its unique checkered pattern full of multiple colors and also in light, gives off a shimmer effect . The material his name is made of is actually from his favorite disco shirt he would wear when he would go out to party at local clubs. I feel this is a great material to represent the name of Andrew Lowry because of the stories I was told, it seemed he was a very caring, friendly, and lovable person. There is also a sample scrabble board that lists seven words that describe Andrew Lowry: friend(friendly and very kind individual), artist (usually sculpted and other forms of visual art), Atlanta, Blueboy ( a gay bar in Atlanta also what he would sometime use as his signature for commercial work), origami, Disney (left for Orlando, Florida at a very young age), and Backstreet ( the club where he would usually go to dance). It contains his birth-date, November 22, 1969, and also his date of death, June 21, 2006. There is a blue suede-like material in the bottom left corner of his panel that is called blue fun fur. Located across the panel are various pictures, all containing Andrew and two others containing Roddy, his best friend. Also in one of those images is most likely another close friend to Andrew. I believe these images may have been chosen to be on the panel because they are some of his happiest moments. There are several circles that contain the same pattern as the other: blue circles that have a darker blue circle in their center and blue circles between them. On the right of the panel, there is a yellow wave-like pattern that has a “waffle” pattern embodying it. The blue material that covered majority of the panel was the darkest blue material on the panel and had a  very smooth feel to it, as if it was made of high quality material. It is safe to assume that with the significant amount of blue included in the panel, blue was Andrew’s favorite color, which may also contribute to some of the reasoning of why he signed his commercial work as ‘Blueboy’. Lastly, there is a QR on the top right under the scrabble sample that sends you to a link of things about Andrew Lowry.