On Thursday, March 18, 2015, More Art and the Hudson Guild community came together to celebrate the opening night of The Disappearing City (on view at Hudson Guild Gallery 441 W 26th St through April 24). Artist Assistant and More Art intern, Brooke Latham, shares her experience from the opening night.
For roughly one month, Amy Wilson and I have been working with a great group of women to create quilts. These quilts are a testament to the participants’ memories in New York. Over the course of the workshop, we have had the opportunity to get to know the group. The opening night of the exhibit marked the culmination of The Disappearing City quilting workshops produced by More Art in partnership with Hudson Guild. Final quilts were on display within Hudson Guild’s gallery space. The show consisted of eighteen quilts made by both the participants from the workshop and by the leader of the workshop, fabric artist Amy Wilson.
The women whose quilts were in the show attended with great pride. Some of the participants even brought with them family and loved ones. I was particularly excited to meet Darlene’s grandson because his picture is on one of her quilts and she had talked about him over the course of the workshop. The Hudson Guild provided a great assortment of snacks and drinks and everyone spent the duration of the opening chatting and taking pictures. There was a video playing in the gallery space which showed a number of the participants speaking about the narrative of their own quilts. By the end of the event we had received many requests to come back for another workshop. It was so rewarding to see the happiness this program brought to these incredible people.
Our Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign needs one final push to help finance Borrowed Light by Sari Carel. In addition to knowing that you are supporting vital community arts programming in the Sunset Park community, you will receive unique rewards for pledges, including a social media shout-out, an invite to a preview event as well as, starting at the $150 level, a limited-edition print by Sari Carel. And finally, two contributors at the $1000 level will receive an original, signed and hand-drawn piece by Carel evoking Borrowed Light.
Other rewards include an invitation to a limited-entry VIP cocktail reception; a downloadable file of Carel’s unique sound collage featuring fauna unique to the park; a special behind the scenes tour of the artist’s studio; and an exclusive three course dinner with Sari Carel and More Art’s Executive Director Micaela Martegani.
The project is already well underway. Sound recordings have been made, plans and technical drawings are ready, and construction of the sculpture is about to start. Your contributions will go toward final construction and installation as well as toward the many outreach programs in collaboration with Sunset Park schools, recreational centers, and other neighborhood cultural organizations.
The multi-media sculpture will double as a stage, becoming a hub for music, literacy and art events throughout the summer. Fund us today, and then join in on the fun! First stop: Friday May 8th is the launch of *our* – that’s More Art and you! – first public art installation in Sunset Park, Brooklyn!
Patterns and prints lay strewn about the table amongst fabric scissors, sewing needles, and trimmings. Chatter filled the air with warm memories, igniting a smile on each present face. Artist Amy Wilson was busy attending to each needle that needed threading, and each question that needed answering. The Disappearing Cities quilting workshop’s first meeting was officially underway, and these ladies meant business. That Thursday morning in February (February 5, 2015), the Hudson Guild buzzed with excitement and ideas as eleven of the community’s senior citizens came together to create a lasting testament to their memories in the form of a quilt. This was nothing like I had imagined our program would be. There was so much commotion, so much lively discussion, and so many vivid memories flowing out of each of these incredible people. In our preparation for the workshop, I had hoped for everything to run smoothly and for each senior to feel engaged in the project—what I got was an overwhelming surge of enthusiasm. Conversational topics ranged from healthcare to the most recent episode of True Detective. Each participant reflected on their neighborhood as they cut out images from maps and spoke about the changes they witnessed within the city. While many of the women were originally from New York, some of them recalled memories from their first neighborhoods in South Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere. Each of the seniors had their own approach to the quilt-making process; Evangeline was very organized and logical in her planning, and wanted to make sure that her quilt was well-balanced in color and pattern. She provided the group with many topics of discussion as she happily arranged her squares in different ways, making sure they were exactly how she liked. May worked diligently, getting up for coffee every now and then. Another woman set up her own table and powered ahead of the whole group, keeping her head down and her eye on the prize. Over the course of the first class she sewed together all of her squares and trim with immaculate technique. While some of the women were primarily concerned with the physical manifestation of their memories, others were more focused on the experience of community centered around the creative process. By the conclusion of our first class, I had been given a nickname and plenty of smiles to last me until our next meeting.
-Text and images by Brooke Latham. Brooke is our public programing intern and assistant to our collaborating artist Amy Wilson on her Disappearing Cities. Brooke is a student at the School of Visual Arts majoring in Visual and Critical Studies. As an intern for More Art, she assists in the planning and execution of the Disappearing Cities quilting program with artist Amy Wilson. In 2011, she moved from her home in Dallas, TX to New York, NY to pursue her interests in the visual arts, bringing with her a versatile range of interests and skills. She is currently focusing on textiles and fiber arts as well as art theory and art history. Her passions include but are not limited to language and communication, world cultures (especially Eastern cultures), philosophy, and most importantly the relationships between these interests.
Following last weeks post from Jezel Lopez we are delighted to continue a series of blog posts by High School Students from the Gotham Professional Arts Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The students attended our public art performance by Dread Scott this past October in DUMBO. Over the course of the following weeks the students organized a series of “Town Hall” meetings to address the recent racial tension and social injustice. Today’s guest blogger is Michael Smith.
Following last weeks post from Yudelka Espinal we are delighted to continue a series of blog posts by High School Students from the Gotham Professional Arts Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The students attended our public art performance by Dread Scott this past October in DUMBO. Over the course of the following weeks the students organized a series of “Town Hall” meetings to address the recent racial tension and social injustice. Today’s guest blogger is Jezel Lopez. (more…)
Following last week’s post from Saragine Edouard we are delighted to continue a series of blog posts by High School Students from the Gotham Professional Arts Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The students attended our public art performance by Dread Scott this past October in DUMBO. Over the course of the following weeks the students organized a series of “Town Hall” meetings to address the recent racial tension and social injustice. Today’s guest blogger is Yudelka Espinal. (more…)