Catherine Lamkin




Catherine Lamkin




Catherine Lamkin


Karen Musgrave

Interview Date


Interview sponsor


Charleston, South Carolina


Kim Greene


Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave, and I am conducting a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Catherine Lamkin. Catherine is in Charleston, South Carolina and I'm in Naperville, Illinois so we are conducting this interview over the telephone. Today's date is January 23, 2009. It is now 7:09 in the evening. Catherine thank you so much for doing this interview with me. Please tell me about your quilt "Change."

Catherine Lamkin (CL): My quilt "Change" was inspired by Gandhi and the reason why is Gandhi was one of my father's heroes when I was growing up- Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the things that I learned from Gandhi comes from the quote, 'We must be the change that we want to see in the world.' I thought about that, and I said, 'I would like to use that in the quilt that I'm going to make for President Obama.' One of the reasons why I wanted to focus in on that is because in the campaign President Obama had certain phrases and sayings and one of them was 'Change' and the other one was 'Hope.' I wanted to focus in on something that he used in his campaign, and I wanted to incorporate it into the quilt that I was making.

KM: Tell me how you went about planning and constructing the quilt.

CL: It was extremely hectic, and the reason why is that I received the phone call from Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in reference to this exhibit and we were given literally thirty days to make this quilt and to complete it. It was down to the wire for me. Often times when I am trying to make a quilt, I will spend a lot of time mulling over what am I going to do, what am I going to include in this quilt, how am I going to construct it. I don't necessarily have a sketchbook. I know that a lot of my colleagues who make art quilts they have a sketchbook, and they sketch things out and what have you and I've made, I've made a few quilts and out of all the quilts that I've made only one of them I have actually sketched out. It took me at least two weeks. I don't work well under pressure. It took me at least two weeks to think about what it was that I was going to do, the image that I was going to use, the type of fabrics that I was going to use to make this quilt. When I decided that I was going to use the quote, 'We must be the change that we want to see in the world,' then I said, 'I want to use an eye and I want that eye to be looking out at people because I wanted to focus on being the change and seeing in terms of visions and what this presidency means to the United States.' So, I said, 'Okay, I'm going to have an eye and then I'm going to have an eyelash and those kinds of things.' Thinking about having an image of an eye I said to myself I want to include President Obama's logo. His logo just happened to be red, white and blue but it was a circular logo, so I took that logo and I said, 'I want that logo to be the pupil in his eye,' and then I said, 'I wanted to have like a real small iris.' One of the things I do with almost all of my quilts, I have this signature where there has to be a stamp. Some type of stamp on my quilts because I collect stamps. I collect stamps for Black History Month. I said, 'Which stamp do I want to put there?' I had a series of stamps from the Civil Rights Movement that came out several years ago and I happened to have the Voting Rights Act stamp, so I said, 'That just stands as a Civil Rights stamp.' There is a stamp for the Mississippi and for the Little Rock and those kinds of things, but I said, 'I wanted the Voting Rights stamp because the right to vote and the right to not vote within the African American community in the south has been such a problem and that's why the Civil Rights, one of the reasons why the Civil Rights Movement was so important and instrumental in getting African Americans to register to vote. I wanted this to be symbolic because I know that with this election that there were people who voted for the first time in their life, and they were not eighteen and nineteen just getting the right to vote. These were people that were elders and felt like Barack Obama is running for president and 'I'm going to vote.' That was another symbol that I wanted to use within my quilt.

KM: Is it the actual postage stamp that is in the quilt?

CL: It is the actual postage stamp. I had it laminated so it would be preserved but it is the actual postage stamp that is placed in the eye.

KM: You also have cowry shells on the quilt.

CL: I do, and the cowry shells are shells that come from African, and I often try to include something from Africa. If I'm using cottons and American fabric and what have you in my art quilts, I always try to include something African. I wanted to have cowry shells because they are symbolic. At one point, centuries ago they said that cowry shells were used in Africa as money. I wanted to have the cowry shells. I painted them gold and I wanted to have them sort of like symbolize Barack Obama's African heritage. People are referring to him as African American and they look at it as him being African American like myself I'm African American. My family came here by way of the slave ships and my family is from Charleston and that was a port of entry for the slaves that came to the United States, but Barack Obama he is truly African because his father was from Kenya, so I wanted to have something that was symbolic of his African heritage.

KM: Tell me about the exhibit that the quilt is in.

CL: Excuse me.

KM: Tell me about the exhibit that the quilt is in.

CL: The exhibit "Forty-Four Quilts" for the 44th President is absolutely wonderful. It is just indescribable. There are a number of artists that are in the exhibit that I am familiar with, and I've been in exhibits in the past with them and then there are a number of artists whose work I am not familiar with. Whether I am familiar with their work or not I believe that each artist, that this is their very best work. The work is exquisite. There is a piece by a woman by the name of L'Merchie Frazier I think, I can get her exact name. She is from Boston, Massachusetts. She lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts and her quilt is a quilt that is a circular quilt, and it is the logo from President Obama's campaign, but the difference is that the white part of the logo is the White House and then the blue part is some of those African American history stamps that I mentioned earlier from the Civil Rights Movement. The thing that is really exquisite is that she has these little windows in the White House that is on her quilt and in each window is a picture of someone looking out. One of the pictures is the first-person African American who was elected to office in the United States and then the last window is Ted Kennedy, and it maybe has about seven or eight windows. Each of the quilts are exquisite. There are quilts that are from Hawaii to represent President Obama's heritage. Quilts from Africa and then there are a couple of quilts that are reflected First Lady Obama's heritage from Georgetown, South Carolina. There is this one quilt by Caroline Crump, and it is phenomenal. Her quilts are three dimensional and she does paint on fabric and the thing I like about her quilts is that the center piece of her quilt is President Obama sitting in a chair and then behind him is Mount Rushmore, but the people are not Abraham Lincoln. One is I believe Frederick Douglas. One is Malcolm X. One is I think Shirley Chisholm. I'm not sure but they are pictures of historical people within African American history and that quilt is just wonderful. They are all wonderful.

KM: What are your plans for your quilt?

CL: There was an article in the Post Courier newspaper last Thursday and it was a wonderful article I must say. They gave us extensive coverage. The reason why I say this is because our newspaper is the kind of newspaper in the shape of the New York Times or the Washington Post is that kind of newspaper and then they have a pull out section and the pull out section is, I can't describe the size but it is like the magazine section for the New York Times and they gave us four pages in a section like that and it featured myself and Dr. Marlene O'Bryant Seabrook and Cookie Washington, as well as Peggy Hartwell. We've gotten a lot of coverage in Charleston and the North Charleston Cultural Affairs office has asked that they be allowed to exhibit our quilts once they return to Charleston so that people can see them. I know that they are in the process of contacting the other artists and myself and Cookie Washington have already said, 'yes.' So, the quilt will be on exhibit in Charleston once it comes back to Charleston. The exhibit has been extended.

KM: Oh, how cool.

CL: It has been extended until July.

KM: Wow.

CL: I just found out yesterday, so it has been extended until the end of July which is wonderful because the Washington Historical Society gets a lot of visitors. A lot of visitors come through so more and more people will be exposed. People who may not have ever even seen an art quilt because I meet people all the time, they have no idea that art quilts even existed.

KM: After it hangs in Charleston, what are you going to do with it?

CL: Oh, oh, you know I don't know. I haven't decided yet. I haven't thought about that. None of my quilts that I have are hanging. I have one quilt that is hanging in my house, and it is a mermaid quilt, but I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to hang it, so I need to think about that. I might, it depends.

KM: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking.

CL: I am a, I want to say I'm a fourth-generation quilter. My mother, first my great grandmother and I had the opportunity to know my great grandmother and her name was Delia Deas Small and she was born in 1886 and she died in 1980 and when I was born, she was seventy years old. She had all of her senses up until a couple of weeks before she passed away. She was a quilter, and she was my paternal great grandmother. She was my mother's grandmother, my grandfather's mother. Then my mother's mother, her name was Mattie Chiasm Small, and she was a traditional quilter as well. The person that really inspired me is my mother, Winifred Sanders and my mother started out as a traditional quilter and she and I have this running joke that you start out as a traditional quilter and then you kick traditional quilting to the curb, and you start doing art quilts. She started out as a traditional quilter, and she always says I used to make utility quilts. Then my mother is a professional seamstress, and she went to Fashion Institute High School, they have a high school, and they have a college in New York- Fashion Institute of Technology. It was called Central Needle Trade back then. Anyway, so she started to make art quilts and I said, 'Hum I think I can do that.' She was a member of the Women of Colors Quilters Network of New York and every now and then I would go with her to one of her monthly quilters' meetings and then they have a quilt festival, sort of like Mancuso Quilt Festival. They had it on the pier on the Hudson River when my daughter was still in a stroller so she was about two and a half and we went and that is when I became mesmerized, and I said maybe I can do this. Then I still continued to watch my mother. I mean I really, really cannot tell you how much she has inspired me and has impressed me. At the age of sixty-eight, my mother had a two women show at an art gallery showcasing her art quilts. She did not start quilting at a young age and my mother is seventy-six now. She had that show and that show inspires me. As a result of her inspiring me she introduced me to other art quilters, Valerie Jean Bailey, who used to be the president of Women of Color Quilters Network of New York and then I just began to meet people and I said, 'Maybe I can do this.' I slowly but surely started out making an art quilt.

KM: Do you belong to any art or quilt groups?

CL: Unfortunately, in Charleston they have a guild, I'm not going to say the name and it is a guild that the majority of the people that are in the guild, I would say maybe ninety-nine percent or ninety-five percent are traditional quilters. It is a large quilt guild, maybe two or three hundred members and a lot of them attend the monthly meeting but because they are more so traditional versus non-traditional, I have not been inspired. I did belong to them for a year whereas my mom belongs to the Empire Quilt Guild in New York City, and it is kind of like fifty/fifty with a good mixture of art quilters and traditional quilters.

KM: So, no groups?

CL: Even though we don't have per say an art quilter group that meets, there are art quilters in the area who I can just talk to for what I want to say emotional artistic support and encouragement and those are the women that are in the show. Cookie Washington and Marlene O'Bryant and Peggy Hartwell, whenever I feel that I need to have a conversation about my art or a technique, you know those kinds of things I can call them. There are online art quilt groups that I belong to and they are wonderful in terms of the same mind set and just basically sharing information, sharing techniques, encouraging people to create those UFOs and those kinds of things.

KM: How did you come to put postage stamps on your quilts?

CL: Postage stamps are really important to me. I like them. I like stamps and I collect them and I think one day I said I'm going to put a stamp on this quilt and the quilt that I said I was going to put a stamp on was a quilt that I did for Rosa Park and I have a quilt for Rosa Park and it is "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" and it has a photo in it and the photo that is in it is a photo of Rosa Park. It is a mug shot and, in that quilt, I said, 'Well what stamp would I want to put on that quilt?' The stamp that is on that quilt is the Thurmond Marshall's stamp because he was so instrumental in terms of Brown versus Board of Ed. He was so instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement. I said, 'I'm going to put the Thurmond Marshall stamp on that particular quilt.'

KM: Tell me about some other quilts that you have done with stamps.

CL: I did a quilt for Nina Simone. I love Nina Simone and when Nina Simone died, I wanted to make a quilt to sort of like pay homage to her life and her wonderful music and the warrior in her. Nina Simone quilt is a collaboration quilt and I have to give Carole Lyles Shaw credit for this because she came up with this project several years ago where she would get a group of women together to do a collaboration quilt and the other name for it would be sort of like a Round Robin. Each of the women they made the center of the quilt and then they passed it on to someone else in the group and they added on, etc., etc. This piece that I did for Nina Simone is called "Cotton Eyed Joe" which is one of the songs that Nina Simone sings and it is also like a country western song as well. She is, there is a silhouette of Nina Simone in the center and then this piece has an actual piece of cotton that I picked in the leftover cotton field and what happened was my husband's family is from South Carolina as well and we were driving to his family and they live in a rural part of South Carolina and we were going to Allendale and on the way we passed a cotton field and they had harvested the cotton and what have you and I said stop. He did and you know [laughs.] his mother laughed because they used to pick cotton when she was a little girl and here's this city girl who had never seen a cotton field and I said, 'Stop.' He stopped and I just picked some cotton. I had it, so when I did the piece "Cotton Eyed Joe" there is a piece of cotton that is actually sewn into this "Cotton Eyed Joe" piece. The other women who worked on this piece, since it was a collaboration piece "Round Robin" is to Teresa Vega as well as my mother Winifred Sanders and that gave me a lot of pride because my mother completed a piece as well as. For the first time I was able to kind of like see toe to toe with my mother and say oh I contributed to her piece and her piece was the piece called "K, Hair, Hair or Maybe Not" and that is H-A-I-R, H-A-I-R, H-A-I-R or Maybe Knot. There is a piece about African American women and how they wear their hair, and that "Maybe Knot" is a picture of a woman who was bald and the other three women had hair. I had an opportunity to work on that piece with my mother and it was fun. On that piece is the postage stamp that I added, and the postage stamp is for the woman who is Madame C.J. Walker. Madame C.J. Walker was the first black woman millionaire and she made all of this money on hair care products and African American women straightening their hair because this was a piece about hair and there was a postage stamp for Madame C.J. Walker that's the stamp that got on that piece.

KM: What does your family think of your quiltmaking?

CL: Excuse me.

KM: What does your family think of your quiltmaking?

CL: My husband, Kurtis, he thinks it is wonderful. He is really proud of me, and he has been through some of my exhibits and what have you. My daughter [laughs.] I think she thinks it is wonderful and she is proud of me as well. My mom has said that I am her inspiration, which is really an honor because she is the one that has inspired me. She says that I'm her inspiration because she says that I always add a special little touch. I'm always doing something different, there is always something different or unusual about the embellishments that I include on my quilts. It maybe the beads or the stamp or the cowry shells or the hand embroidery or the stitching and what have you. I have two brothers. I have an older brother who is three years older than me and a younger brother who is six younger than me. My younger brother came to my exhibit in Washington, D.C. He drove down from New York City so that was a real highlight for me because that is the first exhibit that he has come to, and I was so proud to have him there and I could see that he was proud of his sister. My older brother, he definitely proud, he is just kind of, I think he is sticking his chest out every now and then and he came, I had an exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum in Bockton, Massachusetts a couple of years ago and that exhibit was absolutely wonderful for me. One of the reasons why it was absolutely wonderful for me is because it was the first exhibit that my mother and I were in together. My brother traveled from Atlanta to New York and then from New York up to Bockton, Massachusetts to see the exhibit and that was really special for me. I think that my family is proud of me.

KM: I can't recall a president inspiring so many quilts, at least not in my lifetime. Why do you think President Obama has inspired so much art?

CL: I think that the reason why he has inspired so much art is the fact that, this probably sounds clique but the fact that he is history. Not only because he is history as the first African American president, but he is history because he was able to move so many people from such a diverse background to come together and to support him. His base. I mean he won Iowa. How many African Americans live in Iowa? He was able to mobilize young people, young people, young people, so I think that because of who he is and what he was able to do that artists, not just art quilters but fiction writers and poets and people who have other types of art form that they have been inspired. As a result of being inspired that they have taken it a step further to create, because you can be inspired but you might not necessarily always create. I think that there is such an excitement going on and there is a petition going around where they want President Obama to create sort of like a Department of Art. People are excited.

KM: Do you think he will go see the exhibit?

CL: I am hoping and hoping and hoping that not only that he will go but I really want First Lady Michelle Obama to go and to take her daughters because this is their history and I say that because not only are the quilts about the President and First Lady, Michelle Obama's history. It's about their daughters' history as well and so their daughters would have an opportunity to see a quilt that was made from First Lady Obama's family, from Georgetown, South Carolina because First Lady Obama's grandfather was from Georgetown, South Carolina. So, this is their heritage so I'm hoping that the whole family will go. I really want them too. [excitement in her voice.] Anyway, don't put that in. I'm hoping [laughs.] that they will go.

KM: I'm hoping they will go too. Is "Change" typical of your work? If somebody looked at that quilt, would they say, 'Oh yes Catherine Lamkin made?'

CL: I would say that it is not typical of my work. My work is changing and so I would say, 'maybe,' because they saw the stamp and they know that the stamp is sort of like one of my little signature pieces and what have you. I would say that it is not. One of the quilters that is in the exhibit, her name is Peggy Hartwell, and she does a technique called reverse appliqué and she does hand appliqué and I really like my Singer sewing machine [KM laughs.] and I like to do machine appliqué and maybe about six years ago Peggy said to me, 'Catherine you should really try doing hand appliqué and reverse appliqué.' So, this is the kind of like first piece where I said OKAY, I'm going to try this, this is going to be a real big exhibit in Washington, D.C., so it's a new technique for me. So, it looks a little different because I did the hand appliqué and the reverse appliqué, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think that I am moving a little bit in another direction in terms of the different techniques that I use with my quilting.

KM: Describe your studio.

CL: [laughs.] I don't have one. I don't have a studio.

KM: Where do you work?

CL: I work in my dining area and that's basically where I work. I don't have a studio and because I'm not at that point yet.

KM: Where do you store everything?

CL: Excuse me.

KM: Where do you store everything?

CL: I have a closet so that you know I store my quilts in closets and then I also have a den where I keep my sewing supplies and those kinds of things.

KM: Do you think of yourself more as an artist, or a quiltmaker, or do you make a distinction?

CL: Do I think of myself more as an artist, a quiltmaker, or--

KM: Do you make the distinction?

CL: Do I make the distinction? You know I think of myself as I do make the distinction because unfortunately if you just used the term quilting or quilter, if you're not familiar with the different types of quilting then the ordinary person when they hear that they will say oh you make quilts that go on the bed. In order to distance myself from them making that automatic assumption I always refer to myself as an art quilter and I have just moved, I guess within the last year to say art quilter/fiber artist and that is because I'm using different types of fibers when I do my art quilting, you know like Angelina fiber and different kinds of things that I'm adding to it. I would never just use the word quilter.

KM: You mentioned a variety of embellishments and different techniques. What is your favorite technique and what are your favorite materials?

CL: I can't, I can't really, I can't say what my favorite technique is. I like to do is, I really like to use embellishments, so I like to use beads and metallic threads and those kinds of things. I'm going to be working on a, there was an article several years ago in Quilting Art magazine and I don't know if it was called like Hyper Embellishment or Super Embellishment or it was something where it was just like ridiculous in terms of the amount of beads and those kinds of things, but that is one of the things that I really like. I can't say that I am, I can't define one particular technique that I like.

KM: What about materials?

CL: Materials, in terms of fabric and those kinds of things? [Karen says um-hum.] I like to use at some point in time there is always a piece of African fabric in whatever it is that I do. I'm trying to move away from that, but I haven't really moved away from that yet but that's something that I have put out there for 2009. That is one thing.

KM: To move away from it?

CL: In terms of to make a piece that doesn't have any African fabric in it.

KM: Why will you chose not to use African fabric?

CL: Because I might want to do a piece about trees or nature so that might be one of the reasons why I might move away from that. I might do some nature pieces and what have you. Not to say it can't be in nature pieces but sometimes you grow so that is one thing. I have used transparencies where you actually print on a transparency and then you use that actual print transparency in my art quilting so that is one thing. I've also printed on a transparency and then put sort of like Matte Medium on it then you rub it and then it comes off on the fabric and it leaves an imprint, and I mentioned Angelina fibers. I also print on fabric in terms of I iron fabric to free the paper and then I feed it into the computer, and I may print a photograph. One of the things that I do use is I use photographs, not always but I do use photographic images and those kinds of things.

KM: What advice would you offer someone starting out?

CL: I think that I would offer to someone just starting out is to be open to the possibilities that are out there in terms of creating your art and learning new things. I think that people should be open to learning new styles, new techniques, trying different things until you find your voice. It takes a while to find your voice and then once you find your voice it will click. The other thing is, this is advice, that I don't do myself, but I would offer it to everyone else and I'm trying to move in that direction, and that is to take a little bit of time each day, even if it is just thirty minutes to be creative, to do your art. Just squeeze in thirty minutes. I have a full-time job. I'm the Director of Health Education for the Department of Health so I have a full-time job that I work every day and then I come home, and it doesn't work every day, but I try to do a little bit of art and that is one of my resolutions for the year.

KM: How are you doing so far?

CL: With that? I happen to be doing really good with that and the reason why I'm doing really good with that is because there is a second exhibit that is going to be in Tacoma, Maryland and it is Fiber Artists for Obama, and so I thought that I could use the piece that was in the exhibit at the Historical Society and that was supposed to come down on January 31 and that it would just go over to Maryland but I found out that they wanted it this week so I had to create a new piece. In creating a new piece that gave me the opportunity to work on art just about every day and I just did some work today a little bit before you called. I would say I'm doing pretty good and I'm getting ready to be in an exhibit that opens up in February. It is an exhibit titled "Mermaids and Merwomen" [CL and Cookie Washington are co-curating the exhibit which opens at the Avery Research Institute, Charleston, South Carolina on February 20, 2009.] Tomorrow I will begin working on that piece.

KM: That is interesting. How many artists are in the exhibit?

CL: We don't know because the deadline is the 25th of January so we have a couple more days and then we will know. Now I am not a judge, we have a separate judge for that.

KM: How do you want to be remembered?

CL: How do I want to be remembered? Hum, I've never been asked that question or I haven't really paid attention to it if I've been asked that question in the past and I guess in terms of my art I would like to be remembered as someone who used history in their art. For me I think that a lot of my, my work has kind of like a message in it so I would like to be remembered as someone who used history in her art.

KM: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting art quiltmakers?

CL: The biggest challenge? It is not as big of a challenge now but what I was going to say was art quilters are getting recognized far more now than they used to be in the past or within the past few years art quilters are really being recognized and are out there in the forefront. I think that one of the biggest challenges is to get people to be exposed and recognize that it is a form of art that is number one and I think just ordinary regular people, and then to get the due amount of respect within the quilting world because you know how we have those "isms" in the real world like sexism and racism and artism, I think it might be some art quiltism out there. [laughs.] So, getting the amount of respect that is due within the quilting world to art quilters.

KM: Where do you see your art going?

CL: Can I just go back for a second?

KM: Sure.

CL: It's two-folded because I think that there are some art quilters, I don't know any of them, but I think that there may be some art quilters that are out there, and they may snub their noses at the people who make the Wedding Ring quilts and who are the strictly traditional quilters. One of my best friends, my coworker she is a strictly traditional quilter and I got her to think outside the box and she made an art quilt last year and I am so proud of her, and it is wonderful.

KM: Does she plan to make more?

CL: She does. I keep nudging her. She is working on a traditional quilt right now that she is making for her mother-in-law. Her father-in-law died last year, and she was able to get his old shirts and so she has cut up his old shirts. They are all made out of cotton, not tee shirts, and she has made a quilt for her, and she is going to give it to her next month, but I've gotten her to think outside of the box and I'm so proud of her.

KM: Good for you.

CL: Now let's go back to the last question that you just asked.

KM: I've forgotten what it is.

CL: I interrupted you.

KM: That is okay. That is okay.

CL: We were talking about the perception and art quilters.

KM: I wanted to know where you are going. Where is your art going?

CL: Where is my art going?

KM: Yeah, where do you see it going?

CL: I don't know. I don't know in terms of where I see it going. I think that my art is always making statements so I think it will continue to make statements, but I think that the direction in which it is going is that I will be using more techniques. Sort of like the "Ms. Negro History," where I've added stamps, so the bottom of her dress is actually paper then everything else is fabric. I'm going to be using new techniques and incorporating a lot of mixed media.

KM: Sounds exciting.

CL: It's scary too.

KM: I think that being scared is good. I really do. Is there anything you would like to share that we haven't touched upon before we close.

CL: [pause.] I would like to say that, I would like to just talk about, I mentioned that I was, there were women that have inspired me and one of them I said was my mother, Winifred Sanders and Valerie Jean Bailey and Teresa Vega, but I would also like to give credit to Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi who is the founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network and I think that the work that she does and her own personal art as well as the work that she's done in terms of founding the Women of Color Quilters Network and providing a place and a venue and opportunities for people to exhibit their work and to have their works published is absolutely wonderful and she needs to be commended for that.

KM: I agree, and I want to thank you for taking time out of your evening to spend time with me.

CL: You are welcome.

KM: We are going to conclude our interview at 7:55.


“Catherine Lamkin,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 27, 2024,