Coastal Community Foundation Hosts Rag Quilting Exhibition

Raggin’, an exhibit of works by local artist Sharon Cooper-Murray on display at CCF through Friday, October 28

CHARLESTON, SCSeptember 2, 2016 – Local artist Sharon Cooper-Murray, also known as “The Gullah Lady,” has a show of pieces created in the rag quilting tradition on display now at Coastal Community Foundation. The name of the show, Raggin’, refers to the manner in which the artist has come to create these pieces. An expedited version of rag quilting, Cooper-Murray has engaged a number of Wadmalaw Island residents in this activity, creating a profitable cottage industry out of an age-old Gullah trade.
Growing up in Lake City, SC, Cooper-Murray’s grandmother would share the story of her family’s rag quilt with every grandchild. Grandchildren were never allowed to touch the quilt, but would run back to their grandmother’s bedroom when she was not looking and jump atop it.
Years later, Sharon was surprised to walk into Wadmalaw Island Community Center to find a group of seven women rag quilting in the fashion of her grandmother. A cultural trade passed down from generation to generation of Gullah women, rag quilting began in the Antebellum Period (1781-1860). During cool months, women would use grain sacks and strips of fabric to sew quilts for warmth.
Today, Sharon Cooper-Murray is credited with creating both the Community Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative and the Gullah Enna & Sweet Pan & Ting, a cottage industry (a business/manufacturing industry run out of a person’s home) specializing in Gullah fiber arts and crafts. The pieces on display were created through the process of raggin’, an abbreviated style of the rag quilting technique with which both art forms and commercial objects can be woven. The mission of both of these movements is to increase awareness of Gullah culture and ways of life. By creating a cottage industry out of a cultural trade, Sharon Cooper-Murray is bringing the rag quilting tradition into the 21st century.
The artist’s collection of works, Raggin’ will be on display at Coastal Community Foundation from Friday, August 19-Friday, October 28, 2016.
To learn more about raggin’ and the Gullah tradition of rag quilting, please visit Sharon Cooper-Murray’s website. For more information about the exhibit or prices for artwork available, please contact Angel Rose Tinnirello at or (843) 723-3635 X104.
About Coastal Community Foundation: Coastal Community Foundation empowers individuals, families and organizations to make a lasting impact through permanent, endowed funds for charitable giving. The Foundation serves Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper counties. To learn more, go to or call (843) 723-3635.


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