The Crystal Quilt, 1987

duration: 52′

The Crystal Quilt was the culmination of the Whisper Minnesota Project, a three-year public artwork empowering and giving a voice to older women. The process was consciously guided by a desire to represent diverse ethnic and social backgrounds alongside life experience and achievements, forming an active comment on the representation of older women in the media.

For this purpose 10th of May 1987 in Minneapolis, 430 women over the age of 60 gathered to share their views on getting older. The resulting performance, The Crystal Quilt, was broadcast live on television and attended by over 3,000 people.

Suzanne Lacy (born 1945, USA) has worked collaboratively with artists and communities since the 1970s. In 1991 she founded TEAM (Teens + Educators + Artists + Media Makers) with photographer Chris Johnson and producer Annice Jacoby. A writer she edited the influential Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art in 1995, a book that prefigured much current writing on politically relevant performance art. Lacy was Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the California College of Arts from 1987 to 1997, between 1996 and 1997 she co-founded the Visual and Public Art Institute at California State University at Monterey Bay with artist Judith Baca, and in 1998 she became Founding Director of the Center for Art and Public Life. She is currently the Chair of Graduate Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.