Hey Creative friend,
Today, I want to take you behind the scenes of how the project started, what went into pulling it together, how the final piece was created, and the book I’m writing about all of this exciting event.
Embracing the Power of Art
To start, I wrote a proposal to the library outlining my ideas of how I wanted to engage the public in a community project. Mind you, I had no specific ideas of what the final piece would look like. (I often like to say artists are some of the biggest risk-takers). It wasn’t until two weeks before my Drawn with Threads exhibit was supposed to open, that I got approval to proceed with the community project.
At this point, I had two choices – to accept the community project or cancel it altogether. The time was short and I knew I was putting pressure on myself if I accepted it because I hadn’t had the time to plan for it.
But on the other hand, I knew the power of art to bring people together and I wanted to be a catalyst for that. I didn’t want it to be just about my work. I wanted it to be way more than that. So, well I accepted the challenge.
Building Community Around Art
I started by making cut fabric strips available for library patrons to express themselves on. Initially, it was hard to get patrons to participate due to all the myths and excuses which stop people from being creative.
But with some encouragement, I managed to work up their interest and increase participation. Being in the library and constantly interacting with patrons helped a lot.
The amount of hit your confidence takes on a daily basis, all the way from childhood to adulthood, can do a real job on a human. It’s so heartbreaking to see the effects of this. So many people have lost the ability to even give themselves permission to play, to look silly, to make mistakes, and to laugh at themselves.
As an artist, you’ve got the ability to create a platform to heal those wounds through your art. It’s a joy to watch people let themselves go and finally express themselves.
I feel truly blessed to have been able to coax and encourage people to express themselves in their own unique ways. And I’m beside myself to have gotten the privilege to stitch all those stories together into one tapestry, the story of an entire city. So cool.
The final artwork is permanently installed in the Milford Public Library. It’s taken its place among the extensive artwork they already have hanging on their walls. And it’s been receiving excellent reviews. People absolutely love to be able to come to the library and see part of themselves- their own creation- in that art piece.
This has been my most successful exhibit to date. No two of my exhibits are ever the same. Each one is an improvement on the previous one. And this one has been no less.
I’ve tried to keep you up to date with the processes, the decisions I made, and how this all came together. Many of you’ve told me how much you enjoy these behind the scenes blog posts. But I know there’s a lot more to share, that I can’t do on this platform. So I’ve been putting together a book to give you more of a look into this exhibit.
If you’d like to be notified when the book is available for purchase, just click here.
This book is for you if
- you enjoy seeing fabric/textile related artwork (it’s got 100 PLUS photos)
- you’re interested in learning how to engage the public with your artwork
- you like to understand the process that goes into creating a different type of fiber artwork (you’ll see how all the other pieces in my exhibit were created)
- you’ll want to discover the concept behind a solo textile art show
If this is you, then you don’t want to miss out on this book. It’s a quick and very engaging read – more photos (eye candy) than text. It tells the story of this exhibit in an easily accessible format (just like a magazine).
Get notified about the book here.