Black Hands Moving Colors: The Art of Avis Collins Robinson

Columbus Museum of Art

August 4–September 18, 2022

Avis Collins Robinson is an American artist best known for paintings and quilts that explore America’s often unacknowledged tensions over race, gender, oppression, and lost history. Her work is layered with images that reference the struggles of her ancestors – Nottoway Indian, African and European – famous African Americans like Harriet Tubman and John Lewis, and anonymous people whose ordinary lives bear witness to extraordinary courage and perseverance.

Avis uses color, rhythm, and motion in surprising and revelatory ways to create striking abstract and figurative images with cloth, thread, and pigment. She erases the lines between painting and quilting ultimately synthesizing the two into a technique and an aesthetic that are hers alone. Her quilts with their bold colors and free-form lines and shapes, have been described as painting with cloth. Her paintings feature that same irrepressible sense of color, depth, and texture.

This exhibition is in conjunction with the kick-off of the Aminah Robinson Legacy Project Endowment and Resource Fund. The inaugural event is made possible through generous contributions of Donna and Larry James, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and Avis and Eugene Robinson. Find out more information about the August 25 event here.

In her first Columbus Museum of Art show, Avis shares her vivid abstract quilts and soul-stirring portraits that reflect a familiar spirit of Aminah Robinson. “Aminah Robinson chronicles a life of love, memory, and the glorious breadth of African American experiences. While I am not Aminah’s blood relative, I am very much a kindred spirit,” said Avis.


Avis Collins Robinson, Motherless Child A Long, Long Way From Home (detail), 2010. Multicolored, tapestry, cotton, corduroy, strip quilt, Courtesy of PRM Ancestors LLC

  • X