Image of a sculptural quilt by artist Utē Petit. The quilt in hanging on a branch of a tree within a swamp.

"Requiem for Beauty Plus"

— 2019

Fabric from Granny’s house; corduroy pants; silk from Pearl River Mart; boat sail from I-75 service drive; menthol cigarette carton pulp scavenged from Elysian Fields bridge over Florida canal; Cut up plastic bag; india ink; candy wrappers; danger tape from construction site in New Orleans.

Image of two sculptural quilts by artist Utē Petit. The quilts are hanging on tree branches within a swamp.

"Swamp sunflowers blowing kisses along the Pearl"

— 2017

Found velvet and upholstery fabric from my Granny’s house; silk from Pearl River Mart; two pairs of Levi's jeans; cut up found jacquard fabric made by a white classmate; Tears from said classmate.

Image of a sculptural quilt by artist Utē Petit. The quilt in hanging on a branch of a tree within a swamp.

"crown Heights—Utica Avenue."

— 2018

Found Fabrics near Astor Place, Manhattan and in a storage closet in Rhode Island; hand dyed cotton fabrics with Indigo; old Levi's jeans; a heat pressed fire escape sign; crushed velvet; poly-silk from my Granny; quilted moving fabric left on the sidewalk outside Union Square Station.

Utē Petit

Images by Lee Laa Ray Guillory

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Utē petit is an artist and farmer from Southfield, Michigan. Their work is founded on ancestral heritage of their grandmother’s roles as quilters, educators, and farmers. Utē is interested in how their artwork can pair farming with the larger infrastructure of ecology and transportation.

While traveling through New Orleans, Louisiana and Columbia, Jackson and Pickens, Mississippi, Utē is exploring the creation of a nation called “Ailantha.” Named for the “Ghetto Palm” or “Tree of Heaven,” the Ailanthus Altissima is an invasive tree species native to China. With the ability to clone itself when threatened, it can be found growing in any condition—on roofs, in toxic soils, in forests—with great rigor.

Utē relates this tree as a symbol for Black folks who find themselves in the Americas, and as as empowerment symbol for their ongoing development of a regional transit cooperative.

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