Michael A. Cummings
Michael A. Cummings is a nationally recognized quilter who lives and works in the historic Sugar Hill neighborhood of New York, NY. Self-taught, Cummings brought years of painting and collage skills to his quilt making. Inspired by jazz and working in the narrative tradition, Cummings and his sewing machine tell stories of the African American experience across historical, cultural, philosophical and mythical realms.
Using vibrant colors, applique technique, and a sewing machine for the main body of the piece, he often embellishes the surface with hand embroidery and found objects. Stories involve celebrations of Josephine Baker, Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, jazz music, mythical/historical characters, and commemorate historical events in African American history. Cummings views his quilts as giant collages, likening the process of construction to painting on canvas.
Through a career spanning thirty years, Cummings’ work has been commissioned by Art in Embassies, DC, the City of Knoxville, TN, the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, NY, Home Box Office, NY, The White House, DC, and Absolut Vodka, NY, among others.
His work is included in the public collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY, the Museum of Art and Design, NY, the California African American Museum, CA, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, DC, and in notable private collections. He has received numerous prestigious awards.