Linda Gass is definitely not be the first to use her skills in sewing for political activism, even within the environmental art movement.
Susan Shie is credited with starting the Green Quilt Movement in 1989, with two other artists, taking quilts off of the bed and on to the walls to promote ecology and our stewardship of the earth. Gass is one of over 1,000 artists worldwide who has contributed to this relatively new formal tradition in environmental art, but she stands out for her realistic aerial landscapes and deep knowledge of land issues and histories of the areas she depicts.
I first saw a selection of the Gee's Bend quilts at The Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.
I'd never had anything against quilts before that, they just never
struck me all that much. I couldn't deny that socially, they can bring
women and family together in making and sharing them, but the generally
rigid/symmetrical patterns, and often pastel colors and mixed floral
prints, didn't grab me. But when I laid eyes on a Gee's Bend
quilt for the first time, I was truly moved by not just the story
behind it, but moved on a gutteral level by the beauty of the object