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This catalog is made possible through the generosity of SAQA members.

ISBN: 978-0-9966638-1-6 Cover artwork: Boat Travelers by Robert H. Bein

Contents copyright Š2016 Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. Images copyright the individual artists. Images may not be reproduced or used in any way without written permission. All rights reserved.

PO Box 572 Storrs, CT 06268-0572 860.487.4199

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preface Migration seems to be part of the human condition, and the artworks in Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora illustrate an amazing variety of ways in which migration affects the lives of people around the world. As the child of two very different waves of migration, this exhibition speaks to me in a personal way. My mother’s family came to the U.S. from England shortly after the Mayflower landed on our shores in the 1600s, seeking economic opportunity and religious freedom. My father emigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1938, fleeing Nazi persecution. Although my grandfather had been a decorated WWI veteran, and the family assimilated into German life for generations, their Jewish ancestry suddenly made them political outcasts and targets. This exhibition is the result of the collaboration between Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) and the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum. SAQA is delighted to be

collaborating with these organizations to present Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora. The Textile Museum’s new exhibition galleries at George Washington University provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase not only the variety of artistic responses to this theme, but also the myriad ways in which textile artists use the medium. The art quilts presented in this exhibition have not only come off of the bed and onto the wall, but have also evolved further, into free-standing three-dimensional structures, installations, and video.  Working with the Textile Museum has enabled this exhibition to be a strong collaboration between the work of internationally recognized artists, invited by the Textile Museum, and a wide range of work by SAQA members, juried from hundreds of entries. The resulting exhibition is filled with art that is not only exciting, but also emotionally powerful. —Martha Sielman, Executive Director Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc.


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notes from the director Our museum is both old and new. First established in 1925, The Textile Museum has promoted scholarship and appreciation of international textile arts for over ninety years. More recently, the museum has expanded beyond its historical focus through exhibitions featuring contemporary textile art, and, in 2013, its board voted to accept the work of contemporary fiber artists into the museum’s collections. Meanwhile, The Textile Museum itself joined the George Washington University in an alliance that generated a new museum building in the heart of GW’s Foggy Bottom campus, as well as a conservation and collections resource center on a satellite campus in Ashburn, Virginia. This new affiliation brings faculty, students, and GW’s academic resources to the museum. At the same time, it expands the museum’s mission to embrace the full learning and teaching potential of its collections and exhibitions, as well as broadening its

interpretive scope from the aesthetics of an art museum to exploring the cultural and historical significance of objects that celebrate the diversity of peoples around the world. At their best, university museums can raise their curatorial capacity and scholarly rigor by drawing upon vast academic resources throughout the faculty and student body. Further beyond campus, open-minded museums can enrich their content by working with other institutions. All that is required is a willingness to share. Stories of Migration is a true collaboration between the professional staff of the museum, the GW Diaspora Program, and Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), representing fiber artists around the world. It is our intention that in uniting our diverse resources, we can offer a thoughtprovoking exhibition on a topic

of profound global importance —  especially in these challenging times. We are grateful to SAQA, an organization with over 3,400 members worldwide, for forming the core partnership for this exhibition. The concept for Stories of Migration originated with Leni Levenson Wiener, former chair of SAQA’s Exhibition Committee, and grew from conversations in 2014 with Rebecca A. T. Stevens, who so ably has served The Textile Museum as consulting curator for contemporary textiles. The museum’s curator of Eastern Hemisphere collections, Lee Talbot, soon joined these discussions to advance the concept and develop the selection process. Their vision and organization led to invitations and calls for proposals that generated a show by six invited artists and thirty-eight SAQA members who were selected through a juried competition.


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The exhibition is supported by the scholarship and research of the Diaspora Program of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. This multi-disciplinary program analyzes the emergence of immigrant populations that are becoming “transnational” or simultaneously participatory in different societies. We thank professors Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff and Liesl Riddle for writing the essay on diaspora for our catalogue and for having provided academic perspective on the migration stories that our featured artists have interpreted through their work. A great many talented and dedicated artists, scholars, administrators, students, and museum professionals have come together to make this exhibition possible. We thank SAQA members Martha Sielman, executive director; Lisa Ellis, incoming president of the board and director of ArtCall (the software program used for the jurying procedure); Deidre Adams, art

director; and Patty Kennedy-Zafred, exhibition administrator. Special thanks also to the New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools, and Public School 22 for the special loan of Faith Ringgold’s artwork. Also deserving recognition are members of The Textile Museum’s exhibition staff, especially Richard Timpson and Doug Anderson for their installation of this challenging exhibition, Rachel Shabica for arranging the loan of the artworks, as well as Monika Hirschbichler for her expert coordination of exhibition logistics. We also appreciate the support of professor Lynn Sures and students from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design for assisting Consuelo Jiménez Underwood in creating her site-specific installation in the exhibition, part of her Borderlandia series. We should also recognize Textile Museum trustee Eleanor T. Rosenfeld

for her support of contemporary art initiatives and her recognition of quilts as art. Appreciation as well extends to our colleagues at the French and Finnish embassies for their ongoing assistance and support. Finally, we acknowledge the support of the friends and members of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, as well as the GW community at large. Enjoy the exhibition!

—John Wetenhall, Ph.D. Director The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum

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What Is Diaspora?

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Diasporas in the 21st Century Coined in the third century, the term diaspora originates from the Greek word διασποράς, “a scattering or sowing of seeds.” Traditionally the term was limited to the Jewish dispersion. But since the early 1990s, many dictionaries have expanded the definition to include any body of people living outside their traditional homeland. This broader definition reflects the changing magnitude and nature of global migration. Since 1990, world migration increased by more than fifty percent. As of 2013, approximately 3.2 percent of the world’s population (more than 232 million people) were migrants, many of whom emigrated from a developing country to a developed country. Almost two (1.8) in ten persons living in a developed country today are migrants.2 Innovations in transportation and communication technologies now allow migrants to psychologically and physically connect with their places of origin in ways that were virtually unimaginable in the past. Declining costs in air and other transportation modes make it easier for immigrants and their descendants to visit their places of origin, and have inspired the

development of “heritage tourism.” Global media provide immigrants with a constant stream of information about their origin countries. Ethnic bulletin boards, cyber communities, and e-commerce sites on the Internet offer migrants an opportunity to socially connect not just with each other but also with family, friends, and other individuals in their places of origin. Origins of out-migration and dispersal from the place of origin include forced exile, refugee asylum due to war or poverty, and more elective origins ranging from oppression to perceived socio-economic opportunities.3 Origin yields a particular myth, which forms the basis of the diaspora’s identity as distinct from the place of origin and as a partial determinant of the diaspora’s motivation to embrace the country of residence or some of its cultural characteristics. For some, it is a myth of return or reterritorialization; for others, it is the myth of economic prosperity in the country of residence, and perhaps freedom and democracy. These origins are “akin to the traumas of childhood; they mark the diasporan group and inform the direction of its

development.”4 Diaspora origin may inform diasporans’ motivation and sense of potential efficacy, that is, their perceived ability to assimilate in the country of residence and/ or influence the place of origin. The origins of some diasporas may lead members to sustain greater ties with the place of origin, owing either to inability to integrate into the host society and/or to an intention eventually to repatriate. Through the migration experience, identity “transforms [migrants] from the physical reality of dispersal into the psychosocial reality of diaspora.”5 Diaspora identity encompasses important distinctions: between those who have migrated and those who remain in the place of origin, between those who assimilate wholeheartedly and those who retain an identification with the place of origin, among generations of settlement, and among those who identify with a subset of the place-of-origin culture versus the place or country of origin as a whole (e.g., ethnicities, religious communities). None of these distinctions is permanent.


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Within the diaspora, generational differences inform motivations with respect to identity and its relative emphasis on place of origin or residence culture. In his classic work on immigration, M. L. Hansen posited that the third generation is most likely to emerge as champion for the home country culture because the first generation is prone to be focused on acculturation and survival in the country of residence, and the second on rejection of difference in a full embrace of the residence country.6 This linear model is highly contested and no longer represents the experience of many migrants. We now understand that assimilation of successive generations is segmented, depending on the opportunities and social and cultural capital put in place by the previous generation(s).7 In essence, subsequent generations will lean toward that cultural identity which affords the greatest opportunities in terms of identity resources and quality of life.8 Diaspora identity is characterized by hybridity: It is a mix of characteristics from the place of origin, the place of residence, and lived experience. This mix is precisely the foundation

upon which modern societies have flourished, incorporating diversity along with shared values and aspirations. Diaspora identity “lives with and through, not despite, difference.”9 Diasporans may develop competency to fully navigate one set of cultural norms and then the other, as required by the situation at hand. Even for those who assimilate and begin to lose their language and customs, their ethnic identity in some form continues. The sustaining placeof-origin identity is not a simple repetition of what existed in their place of origin. Diaspora identities are constantly produced and reproduced. They are “a negotiated result rather than a reflection of an objective or described reality.”10 The United States’ tolerance for hyphenation—that is, “AfricanAmerican,” “Asian-American,” and “Arab-American”—affords diasporans a greater opportunity to pursue their cultural identity within the context of their American selves.11 Many diasporans may come to share civic and other values of the host country, learned through exposure

or social pressure, or consciously sought (sometimes through elective migration). United States-based diasporas are believed to embrace American values of pluralism, democracy, and human rights (i.e., liberalism).12 The diaspora identity is subjective and elective. It cannot be defined by others, and others cannot identify who is and is not a diasporan. Diaspora classification cannot be determined by demographics alone. First generation Americans may hold no interest in a far-off place of origin, while a second or third generation American might be keenly committed to this professed ancestral identity. Diaspora identity is also dynamic. What may first appear as a deep interest may in fact be a passing fad or a phase. What may seem a lack of interest may be quickly transformed into a deep commitment, possibly with staying power, when the ancestral place of origin is in crisis. With these nuances, diasporas are commonly defined as comprised of immigrants and their descendants who maintain a connection,

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psychological and/or material, to their place of origin. Diasporans mobilize for the expression of their identity, for maintaining or acquiring power or other resources, or both. The expression of place-of-origin identity may be based on a sense of belonging, in response to feelings of marginalization in their adopted society, or on a sense that the place-of-origin identity will be lost without proactive expression. Marginalization in the host society can lead to disempowerment and a failure to mobilize, or it may be a catalyst for group identity and mobilization in support of the place of origin, perhaps feeding a dream of return and/or reinforcing a social prestige that is not accessible in the host society. Some research suggests that engagement on behalf of the place of origin provides “a source of solace against external hostility and protect[ion of] personal dignities threatened by it.”13 Artistic expression of the diaspora identity fulfills similar functions. Diasporas as Imagined Communities Diasporas are a clear example of what Benedict Anderson calls “imagined communities.”14 These are communities in which members

will not meet most of the other members face-to-face. Yet, together they imagine a shared identity. This shared identity may originate in trauma, either from an actual historical event or merely from the migration experience itself. Traumatic migration experiences may derive from forced exile, for example, slavery in the African diaspora, as depicted in William Adjété Wilson’s The Black Ocean (L’Océan Noir). Here, subsequent generations of the African slave diaspora are unified in a shared, imagined experience of what it was like for the original victims of the slave trade. By subtitling his work Europe-Africa-America, he unites these three geographical spaces across the generations that followed. Traumatic migration also derives from war or civil conflict, for example, the Armenian diaspora, the Yugoslavian diaspora, and more recently, the Iraqi, Afghan, and Syrian diasporas. Hussein Chalayan’s After Words, for example, draws from his personal experience as a Turkish Cypriot whose family fled ethnic conflict. After Words depicts a common experience of those fleeing conflict: the need for fast, flexible mobility. The diaspora identity can be a vehicle for processing related individual and collective trauma. Individual Bosnian refugees used the Internet

to create mausoleums to their history and culture through personal webpages, or “cyber-homes”; these provide “a possibility to patch their fractured identities, to construct coherent stories about their obviously incoherent lives and to obfuscate the shock of uprootedness and alienation.”15 In a similar fashion Consuelo Jiménez Underwood and Shin-hee Chin, respectively, depict the suffering of crossing and living in the borders between two homes. Underwood’s Borderlandia series portrays the physical and psychological barriers inherent in these crossings, as well as associated suffering and hope—the latter stemming from the very resilience of those who cross. In Mother Tongue and Foreign Language, Shin-hee Chin focuses on the anguish that may follow the crossing, when one can no longer safely assume effective communication cross-culturally or even cross-generationally. Imagination not only connects these populations, it enables them to retain a shared identity—whether that identity is frozen from the time of departure, reimagined, or invented. Such identities have staying power, even when not readily apparent to outside observers. Using the example of folktales, for example, in The Crown Heights Children’s


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History Quilt, Faith Ringgold at once confirms immigrant children’s continued connection to their ancestral cultures, and their shared experience of doing so across a range of immigrant groups. Aino Kajaniemi’s quilted travel diary of the Finnish diaspora in America reveals the continued artifacts of migration, where not only native language and signage persist, but cultural practices as well. Her installation, Path, simply and beautifully depicts migration as a natural and common phenomenon— with which most Americans resonate. One defining feature of diasporas is an allegiance to and even romanticizing of an ancestral homeland. For those intent on sustaining the place-of-origin identity in diaspora, anecdotal evidence suggests that some may become more national—or ethnic—than their compatriots who remain in the place of origin. Native-born or first-generation immigrants, for instance, may insist on dragging their children to homeland cultural events dressed in traditional clothes that may have long fallen out of fashion in the country of origin. Yugoslavian diasporans, distraught at the breakup of Yugoslavia, created their own cyber-nation to sustain their shared national (as opposed to ethnic) identity. In imagining their shared identity, some diasporas engage

in historic revisionism, either from ignorance or to support a particular agenda. For example, Alevis in Europe have distorted their religious understandings and expression,16 and Hindu diaspora webpages based in North America have recast the Taj Mahal as a Hindu monument.17 The diverse works displayed in this exhibition demonstrate a range of imagined diaspora communities —some intended as a means to process the trauma of dispersion and/ or the migration experience, some romanticizing, to varying degrees, different aspects of the artists’ hybrid identities. Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, The George Washington University; Co-Director, GW Diaspora Program Liesl Riddle Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs, The George Washington University; Co-Director, GW Diaspora Program

(Endnotes) 1. This narrative draws from the authors’ published works. The authors are co-founders (along with Stephen C. Lubkemann) of the GW Diaspora Program. 2. United Nations. International Migration Report 2013. New York: United Nations, 2013. 3. See, e.g., Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.

4. Butler, Kim D. “Defining Diaspora, Refining a Discourse.” Diaspora, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Fall 2001): 189-218, 203. 5. Butler, op. cit., 207. 6. Hansen, M. L. “The Study of Man: The Third Generation in America. A Classic Essay in Immigrant History.” Commentary, (1952): 492-500. 7. Portes, Alejandro and Mi Zhou. “The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimi­lation and Its Variants (Interminority Affairs in the U.S.: Pluralism at the Crossroads).” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 30 (November 1993): 74-97. 8. See Waters, Mary C. Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. 9. Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” In J. Rutherford, ed. Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. London: Lawrence (1990): 222-237, 235. 10. Friedman, Jonathan. Cultural Identity and Global Process. London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (1994): 71. 11. Shain, Yossi. Marketing the American Creed Abroad: Diasporas in the U.S. and Their Homelands. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 12. Ibid. 13. Portes, Alejandro. “Conclusion: Theoretical Convergencies and Empirical Evidence in the Study of Immigrant Transnationalism.” International Migration Review, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Fall 2003): 874-892, 880. 14. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso Books, 2006. 15. Hozic, Aida. “Hello. My Name is…: Articulating Loneliness in a Digital Diaspora.” Afterimage, Vol. 21 (January 1, 2001): 1-9, 5. 16. Sökefeld, Martin. “Alevism Online: ReImagining a Community in Virtual Space.” Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, vol. 11, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 85-123. 17. Lal, Vinay. “The Politics of History on the Internet: Cyber-Diasporic Hinduism and the North American Hindu Diaspora.” Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Fall 1999): 137-172.

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curators’ essay Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora presents the work of six invited artists and thirty-eight juried artists who skillfully comment with fabric, needle, and thread on diaspora, the overarching narrative of our time. Their works give visual voice to the historical truths, physical depredation, racism, and prejudice in today’s unsettled world, and pose questions for the viewer to consider. One only has to look at a newspaper, turn on the television, or surf the Internet to find riveting images illustrating the plight of immigrants as they flee war, economic hardship, and despair in search of a better life. The heartrending images of families fleeing their homes clutching quilts, carrying cloths, and other meager textile belongings appear nightly on our screens. The story of migration and diaspora therefore is not one story but millions. The artists in this exhibition tell some of these stories and encourage the viewer to think deeply about this timely subject.

It is not surprising that contemporary artists have chosen textiles to tell Stories of Migration. For more than a thousand years textiles have been used in the West to tell stories. Tapestry and embroidered cloth — such as the eleventh century Bayeux Tapestry and the fifteenth century The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series—illustrated tales from the Bible, heroic deeds of kings, adventures of mythological figures, and morality lessons. These textiles were important teaching tools, conveying significant cultural information about religious and historical events for both the literate and illiterate public. In more recent years quilts have served this function, illustrating noteworthy historical events; celebrating friendships, births, and marriages; and marking the loss of friends and family from death or relocation. The works in this exhibition also play a role as teaching tools. They are visual “books” that serve as a reference library for the human experience of migration.

The stories articulated by the artists in this exhibition range from the personal to the universal. These artists have created powerful works that comment on the Jewish diaspora, the African diaspora, and other displacements of peoples that have occurred from ancient to modern times, including those of Mexicans, Japanese, Irish, Italian, Native Americans, and Rwandans. Daniela Tiger muses that these travelers may start on their journey “without a clear sense of destination,” yet they “have faith that a new day will dawn.” Other exhibited artists also express the desire that their work will promote a better understanding of the world, including both its atrocities and its acts of benevolence. The artworks presented here are as diverse as the artists themselves, who come from different geographic areas and have different life experiences. Some, like Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, recount their personal experience of diaspora. As the daughter of an undocumented


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migrant farm worker, Underwood crossed the U.S.-Mexican border many times as a child, learning firsthand of the dangers and rewards of this crossing. Her installation on an entire wall in the exhibition—created with paint, barbed wire, and quilted flowers— serves as a backdrop for her biting social commentary on the political, cultural, ethnic, and class ramifications of this controversial strip of land. Other artists in this exhibition have not personally experienced diaspora, but voice their strong personal reaction to the stories of migration they have heard or seen. For example, Susan Wei in Children Are Not Criminals uses quilted images of swaddled babies sleeping behind chain-link fences to condemn the authorities for treating immigrant children inhumanely. In The Past as Road to Tomorrow, Penny Mateer confronts the viewer with graphic images of the wartime destruction and human devastation that drive refugees to leave their homeland.

The exhibition illustrates that there is no single way to tell a story. The African diaspora, for example, is told through many lenses. William Adjété Wilson uses West African pictographs to illustrate 500 years of African diaspora, beginning with the kings of Dahomey in Benin and continuing to the current migration of Africans fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe in leaky, unsafe boats. Alice Beasley uses the “metaphor of a train (a vehicle that moves inexorably through time, picking up people in one place and depositing them in another)” to tell her family’s history from freedom in Africa, to slavery in America, to the Great Migration from the Jim Crow South to the American North. Beasley uses photographs of her family members as passengers on this moving train, bringing the story from the universal to the personal and individual. The message of Buff McAllister, on the other hand, is more abstract. She uses colored lines instead of images to represent the path that mankind has taken out of Africa. She reminds us that “Humans arose

and evolved in Africa. Their gradual migration and dispersal all across the earth was the first diaspora.” Combining the traditional quilt format with innovative twenty-first century technologies—including digital printing, video projection, and Internet imagery—these artists explore the physical and psychological ramifications of diaspora. Ultimately each viewer will read and interpret the stories in these artworks through his or her own background and experience. Patty Kennedy-Zafred could be speaking for all the artists featured in this exhibition when she writes: “As a storyteller, my goal is to create thought-provoking narratives using fabric, dyes, silkscreens, and ink to develop a visual dialogue with the viewer.” —Rebecca A. T. Stevens, Consulting Curator, Contemporary Textiles —Lee Talbot, Curator, Eastern Hemisphere Collections, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum

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Margaret Abramshe Mesquite, Nevada, USA The image is of my paternal grandfather. He is prepared for travel, with his heavy wool overcoat and his best hat. My grandfather was like most Americans who fled oppression and economic hardship. He was one of millions of immigrants who traveled here to a better life. This quilt is my prayer for every stranger who is forced to leave a place of familiarity. My hope is that there will be many people and places in the world that will open their arms to these new “strangers in a strange land.” Paint, dye, commercial fabric, artist image commercially printed on fabric; Photo manipulated image printed on cotton, painted and dyed, fused appliqué, machine stitched.


photo by Ken Sanville

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Stranger in a Strange Land 34 x 35 inches 2015

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B. J. Adams Washington, D.C., USA From the earliest marks on cave walls, through creating letters and alphabets, to forming words, to printing books, the inherent differences in people and their diverse languages have hindered communication. However, we can also connect in nonverbal ways. The movement of groups of people, whether refugees or migrants, offers us the greatest opportunity to communicate if we choose to embrace it. Cotton canvas, cotton fabric, acrylic paint; Free motion machine embroidered, appliquĂŠd, painted, heat transfers.


photo by PRS Associated, Kensington, MD

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Connecting 61 x 114 x 1 inches 1998

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Nancy Bardach Berkeley, California, USA Past, present, and future tents — the interrupted lives of migrant refugees. Somber colors and dark surroundings reflect dire conditions. Relatively more colorful doorways and people lingering beyond open flaps suggest the continuing light and hope within. Hand dyed cottons, batiks, marbled fabric by the artist, Japanese woven cloth; Machine pieced, machine quilted and machine sketched ghostly tent images.


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Ad Infinitum 75 x 45 inches 2015

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Beth Barron Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA This is the 4th in a series of mandalas. After literally being locked out of my home, I did not know where to go. Using found band aids, symbolic of wounding and resilience, I looked within to find the center (the heart) I had lost. I stitched together my life, a new story, a stronger map to lead me on my next journey towards home. Found band aids, paint to seal the back side; Hand stitched.


photo by Petronella Ytsma

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Implosion 4 50 x 50 inches 2015

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Bobbi R. Baugh DeLand, Florida, USA The mournful lament of the Jews captured and taken from their ancestral homeland in the 6th Century BCE is heard in Psalm 137: “How can we sing the Lord’s Song in a strange land?” They were bereft. They had left behind their home and, they believed, their God. This intense longing for home is woven into the story and history of the Jewish people. And yet, it is not a unique story. It is universal—and, therefore, all the more powerful. At times, the scattered self that lives in the new place does not even feel like oneself. Contemporary immigrants also give voice to their lament: “How can we sing in a strange land?” Muslin, sheer fabric, polyester felt, acrylic paints and mediums; Monotype, hand painted, digital transfer, collaged, machine stitched.


photo by Tariq Gibran

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How Can We Sing In a Strange Land? 53 x 72 inches 2015

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photo by Sibila Savage Photography


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Alice Beasley Oakland, California, USA Through the metaphor of a train (a vehicle that moves inexorably through time, picking up people in one place and depositing them in another), this triptych tells the story of the passage of my ancestors from freedom to slavery and into the present: a journey that inevitably ends in me, an observer of my own past, recording the scene on my cell phone. By using the faces of my actual relatives (great grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, etc.) in the lead car, I recreate my family as passengers in our second Great Migration out of the Jim Crow South in search of the illusive promise of America. Cotton, silk, and polyester fabrics; swivel hooks connecting the train cars; Raw edge appliquéd of commercial fabrics, except for the faces in the lead car which were printed from my family photos then appliquéd.

Blood Line 27 x 192 inches 2015

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Robert H. Bein Longmont, Colorado, USA Alone in a boat in the sea. Cotton; AppliquĂŠd.


photo by Ken Sanville

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Boat Travelers 12 x 12 inches 2015

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Charlotte S. Bird San Diego, California, USA Sedna, sea goddess of the Inuit, cries for the progressing diaspora of her people. She sees their houses fall into the ocean. They move their villages, but the ice goes north, making them traverse wider, rougher seas to hunt. Orcas invade and disperse their traditional prey. The white bear comes ashore, hungry. The brown bear and the advancing forest confront him. Hand dyed and commercial cotton, printed USGS maps, polyester organza, nylon net; Hand cut and fused appliquĂŠ, machine stitched, machine quilted.


photo by Eric Nancarrow

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Sedna’s Tears 73 x 112 inches 2015

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Betty Busby Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA The ebb and flow of human migration since the dawn of history is like a river. In many ways it can be shaped by natural forces or diverted by human intervention. Entire cultures can move gradually or be compelled to flee from deadly forces. This video of changing colors on silk is meant to evoke that force of change. Video from stop motion photography, narration by artist. Original piece: Silk, unfixed dyes; Machine stitched.


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Horizon Horizon

video stills video stills2015 2015

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Gloria S. Daly Duncan, British Columbia, Canada During WWII, the Japanese people living in coastal British Columbia were forcibly moved inland to Japanese Canadian internment camps: cold, unfamiliar places where families were separated, mothers were lost, and possessions disappeared. Despite this, these displaced people formed communities and survived. My practice explores meditative hand stitching/mark making. Each mark represents one of the over 23,000 displaced persons, the pain of separation, and the lives affected. The marks are stitched onto an old wool blanket implying intimate relationships, the need for warmth, and comfort. The tanned moose hide backing reflects the strength and adaptability of these brave, strong people. Though this work speaks no words, we can hear them. Repurposed wool blanket, tanned moose hide, perle #3 cotton, dyed crochet thread; Mark making, blanket stitched, mended, darned, patched.


photo by Will Datene

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Detained Denied Displaced 72 x 72 x 1 inches 2015

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Jane E. Dunnewold San Antonio, Texas, USA A reworked quilt is a symbol of transition and paradox. Once soft and meant for a bed, it is now stiff and scratchy, transformed into a sort of landscape, across which thoughts, fears, and memories traverse. The quilts of those on the move function as “receptacles of memory” for these people who are launching into a world that could at best be characterized as unknown. It must take incredible strength of character and stamina to hold onto that which was important before the travels and travails began, in the hopes that it might be recreated and flourish again. Vintage quilt, spackle, handmade and vintage papers, gold leaf, pencil; Spackled, collaged, gold leaf, drawn.


photo by Zenna James

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Receptacles of Memory 15 x 72 x 8 inches 2015

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Susan Else Santa Cruz, California, USA This piece started with a metaphor: some areas of the world seem to be intractable knots in the fabric of our common humanity. Decades of injury and counter-injury pull the snarl tighter, and outside interests add to the tangle with arms and support for warring factions. Eventually, individuals caught up in the web have nothing to lose by leaving: there is no future for them if they stay.

photo by Marty McGillivray

Figures: cloth over armature. Ground: collaged and quilted cloth over base; machine reverse appliquĂŠd and collaged, machine quilted, needle sculpted.

Crossing Points 15 x 47 x 47 inches 2015

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Linda Filby-Fisher Overland Park, Kansas, USA YOU CAME. VENUTO. WITH LONELINESS IN YOUR POCKET AND ITALY ON YOUR TONGUE. SILENZIOSO. Cloth, ink, paint, laces, and beads; Hand printed, painted, embellished, and hemmed, machine printed [images generated and printed by the artist], embroidered, pieced, and quilted.


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Coming: A Telling Series 12 x 12 inches 2011

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Cheryl Gerhart Churchville, Virginia, USA In some areas of North America in the 16th and 17th centuries, Native Americans kept a summer camp and a winter camp, migrating between them, carrying their medicines and supplies bundled on large willow branches chosen for their strength and flexibility. Each bundle was carried by two people, one end on the shoulder of each. As Europeans settled North America, the Native American people were pushed from their homelands. Again and again, they bundled their possessions and moved to a new home. I chose to use willow branches in this piece to represent the strength and flexibility of the human spirit. And to explore individual and collective identity. Willow branches, wool from my sheep, hand dyed fabric; Mixed media, stitched.


photo by Phocus Photo

Stories of Migration

Bundles 36 x 12 x 4 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Sandy Gregg Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA People leave their home countries and cross borders for many reasons. This piece highlights some of those reasons, crossed by the paths of those who are on the move. Cotton broadcloth; Hand painted fabric, machine pieced and quilted.


photo by Joe Ofria

Stories of Migration

Crossings II 40 x 34 inches 2015

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Ginnie Hebert Puyallup, Washington, USA When I first learned of the diaspora exhibit, many movements of people came to mind. But what lodged in my brain and wouldn’t let go was the great migration of souls who left the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. This piece represents the relentless dust storms that forced many people to leave their beloved farmland and head west in the hopes of reconstructing a new life in the fertile valleys of California. Cotton canvas, muslin, dyes, bleach, screen printing ink, water soluble crayons, textile medium, permanent ink pen, commercial printed fabric; Hand-dyed and discharged whole cloth monoprinted muslin, colored, machine quilted.


Stories of Migration

Last Hope California 54 x 88 inches 2015

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Patricia Kennedy-Zafred Murrysville, Pennsylvania, USA As a storyteller, my goal is to create thought-provoking narratives to develop a visual dialogue with the viewer. The interpretation of each piece is conceived through the lens of individual experiences, memories, or perspectives. Barely three months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing into internment camps (euphemistically called War Relocation Centers) nearly 120,000 people of Japanese heritage living on the Pacific Coast, of which an estimated two-thirds were U.S. citizens. Their story is an essential part of our diverse American fabric. This piece is dedicated to the almost 30,000 camp internees who were children. Original images courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, with permission. Cotton fabric, dyes, textile inks, image transfer materials; Hand silkscreened images on hand dyed fabric, appliquĂŠd, fused, image transfer; machine pieced and quilted.


photo by Larry Berman

Stories of Migration

Tagged 45 x 84 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Brigitte Kopp Kasel-Golzig, Germany This installation is based on the biblical story of Babylon, that we once were all brothers and sisters speaking the same language. The text on the quilt on the floor says in different languages: “We all are sisters and brothers”. Quilt: silk, embroidery threads. Tower: different fabrics self-dyed and painted, ropes, fabric stiffener, paper rolls, glue; Quilt: whole cloth quilted with machine and hand embroidery, stuffed. Tower: appliquéd strips of fabric with inserted ropes and paper rolls, machine quilted.


Stories of Migration

Babylon 69 x 71 x 61 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Kristin La Flamme Portland, Oregon, USA For twenty years I’ve considered our family to be urban nomads. We’ve moved every few years (almost always across an ocean) at the behest of the U.S. Army. Each “Permanent Change of Station” means we must adjust to a new home, geographic environment, culture, and often language. Setting down roots is difficult, but we always seem to make connections and create a community. With friends across the globe, we bring that community with us in a metaphorical way. Shopping cart, yarn, embroidery floss, repurposed uniform fabrics and quilts, acrylic and spray paint; Pieced, quilted, painted, hand embroidered, knitted, crocheted, three dimensional construction.


photo by Mark Frey

Stories of Migration

Home is Where the Army Sends Us 39 x 17 x 16 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Carol A. Larson Petaluma, California, USA Post WWII, there began a mass migration from urban to suburban. In 1952 my parents moved their young family from downtown San Francisco to the suburbs. Decades later I asked my aged father about this, and he said, “We moved to the suburbs so you wouldn’t have to go to school with the ‘colored’ children.” This piece is part of a collaborative series created with Marion Coleman, examining how contrasts and parallels in upbringing have formed my collaborator and me into the strong, independent, aging women we are today. She was raised in the segregated South and I in an affluent white Bay Area suburb. The text on the bottom of this piece is constructed from our segregated elementary school photos. Cotton, batiks, class photos, photo transfers, textile paint; Discharged, screen-printed, machine pieced, machine appliquéd.


Stories of Migration

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City 48 x 41 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Sandra E. Lauterbach Los Angeles, California, USA This piece was inspired by my visit to Remuh Cemetery in Krakow, Poland, where my family lived before WW2. The tombstones were destroyed during the war. In the 1950s, tombstone fragments were recovered and cobbled together to form a wall around the cemetery — a poignant memorial. The photographs I took of the wall and family wartime documents are interwoven into a fabric montage. Four generations are depicted. Just as survivors attempted to patch their lives together after the war, my hand stitching in this piece connotes to me their lost families, homes, hearths, and daily lives. Digitally printed fabric, painted silk organza, embroidery floss; Scanned documents and photos, digitally manipulated images, painted, hand embroidered and stitched, machine quilted.


photo by Gregory Case

Stories of Migration

Wailing Wall of Krakow 56 x 102 inches 2014

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photo by Gary Connaughton

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Stories of Migration

Nancy Lemke Bonita, California, USA I live near San Diego where stories regarding Hispanic immigrants swirl daily. One particularly struck my heart: the attack on three busloads of immigrant children by local adults. I was overwhelmed by how many people from hugely varying groups have moved from place to place, forced or choosing to find safer homes with more opportunity. In fact, I was drowning in the numbers and diversity until I came up with the image of columns of feet moving forward. I wanted them to be anonymous, but as they appeared on the quilt, hints of character and their backgrounds came with them. My research also led me to the great 1930s migration artist Jacob Lawrence. The eyes in my piece are a nod to his powerful work. Commercial cotton fabrics; Fused, machine and hand appliquĂŠd, hand embroidered.

Only 8½ of Many Millions 21 x 90 inches 2015

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Susan Lenz Columbia, South Carolina, USA The need for slaves, crops, and manufactured goods displaced millions during the 16th through 19th centuries. Coming from South Carolina, I am very aware that the humble cotton boll represents this sad part of history. Cotton, waxed linen thread, black spray paint; Picking cotton, stitched, spray painted.


Stories of Migration

Cotton, Triangular Trade 180 x 240 x 240 inches 2015

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Kevan Lunney East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA The giant spiral ending in a central fireball speaks to the many forces in our lives and also to the motion of the globe and its inhabitants. The blocks of text reference shared wisdom. Words appear in stitch across the distressed surface. Look for them. Do what you can, there is a time to rest, and we are all afraid. Linen, paint, metal leaf; Quilted, stenciled, stitched, shrunk, distressed, painted, metal leaf.


photo by Marcia Schultz

Stories of Migration

Archeology #24, A Time to Rest 64 x 56 inches 2013

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Penny Mateer Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA As the U.S. questions its immigration policies while forgetting how the country was founded, a humanitarian crisis grows in Europe as thousands flee war and oppression, risking death and enduring incredible hardships in search of safety and security. Newspaper photojournalists tell their desperate stories, but I am concerned that the visual impact of their work is diminished with the ongoing shift of news delivery from holding the newspaper to viewing a screen. I am compelled to reimagine their work and confront viewers with these uncomfortable realities that they might otherwise avoid with just one click. Fleece, commercial cotton; Hand cut newspaper collage, digitally printed, machine quilted.


photo by Larry Berman

Stories of Migration

The Past as Road to Tomorrow 60 x 80 inches 2015

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Buff McAllister Youngsville, New York, USA Humans arose and evolved in Africa. Their gradual migration and dispersal all across the earth was the first diaspora. My piece starts with the primary colors, then adds the secondary and tertiary colors to represent the vast diversity of humanity that now exists on earth — different cultures, languages, colors, customs, but all connected in a direct line to our origins. Cotton fabrics, metallic threads; Raw edge appliquéd, stitched.


photo by Hank Schneider

Stories of Migration

Out of Africa: Primal Diaspora 51 x 70 inches 2015

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Denise Oyama Miller Fremont, California, USA Connecting Threads tells my family’s migration story from Japan to America. The story starts with my grandparents Zengoro and Chiyo, who separately traveled to Hawaii, met, married and moved to Los Angeles. With the untimely loss of Zengoro, Chiyo raised her four children by running a family store. The family store and home were lost as a result of the World War II relocation. While the rest of his family was in a relocation camp in Arkansas, my father was sponsored by Quakers to work in Montana. Postwar, his younger brother was drafted into the army and sent to Japan during the reconstruction period. My parents had to marry in Kentucky, because of miscegenation laws in the state where they lived. Both my father and my uncle completed graduate biochemistry degrees at George Washington University and subsequently worked for NASA. My father was a principle investigator for the Moon and Mars Missions. Cotton fabric, transfer artist paper, dyes, acrylic felt, overdyed commercial fabric for backing that shows the boat route from Yokohama to Honolulu; Shibori (nui and makinui) dyed, sashiko stitched, fabric discharged, thermofaxed, embroidered, photo transfer, quilted.


Stories of Migration

Connecting Threads 48 x 62 inches 2015

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Melody Money Boulder, Colorado, USA This piece was inspired by the people from Tibet now living in exile. Home to them is a distant memory. Many have fled this country of high clouds and mountains, their home on the roof of the world. This piece is a mind’s eye view of a remembered home. It recalls a memory of the light on the mountains, the feel of the wind, a perception of the sky. This is a life holding onto remembered moments and a feeling deep inside of home. Silk, satin, cotton, batik, lamÊ, chiffon, felt, rayon, recycled sari ribbon, embellished trim and ribbons, beads, buttons, sequins, crystals, carved bone, carved mother of pearl, embroidered buttons, yarn; Hand painted, hand dyed, folded, beaded, machine stitched, machine quilted, couched.


photo by Les Keeney

Stories of Migration

Sky Prayers – Memory of Sky 59 x 41 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Joy Nebo Lavrencik Oak Brook, Illinois, USA As I began to research Somalia, I realized how tragic life can be in this part of the world: famine, combat victims, genital cutting, rape, and death. I chose feet to humanize an artistic abstraction. This work represents people who have no shoes. Their feet show and tell the story of a different life. The materials in my piece represent the fragility of life: hog gut, blood, seeds, leaves, gravel, and forest bits. The sculpted feet are twisted and distorted to represent the hardships of those who make it to the refugee camps safely and to honor those who tried and did not. “Our feet and hands silently bear witness to our life.” Hog gut, threads, blood, seeds, leaves, gravel. Silk and cotton fragments that were buried in the earth to scar; Sculpted hog gut collaged with various materials that were tea and plant stained.


photo by Nancy Merkling

Stories of Migration

MOGADISHU 8 x 11 x 12 inches 2012

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Bonnie Peterson Houghton, Michigan, USA An estimated two million people fled Rwanda to huge refugee camps in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Tanzania, where there was no protection against conflict. Some returned to Rwanda and others left for Europe, Canada, and the U.S. In this work, testimony from survivors of the Rwandan Genocide is embroidered on two long ribbons. Grosgrain ribbons; Embroidered.


photo by Tom Van Eynde

Stories of Migration

Tutsi Testimony 634 x 1.5 inches 2013

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Stories of Migration

Sara P. Rockinger Lafayette, Colorado, USA As a fiber artist, I layer thread, fabric, form, and imagery to create socially relevant figurative work. I am interested in how global social issues and daily life intersect, overlap, and become stitched together through shared human experience. This stems from my need to understand what it might be like to be someone else. How and where does my life intersect with someone whom I never met, someone I don’t know? What do we share? How do we change as a result? Cotton muslin, silk organza, buttons, video projection; Handmade clothing, hand stitched surface design, silk screened, molded on forms, stiffened, suspended, layered with audio and/or video.

In/Visible 70 x 144 x 30 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Sara P. Rockinger Lafayette, Colorado, USA As a fiber artist, I am interested in overlapping sheer layers of thread, fabric, color, and content to uncover the relationship between the layers, mimicking overlapping lives and experiences. I love the contribution a single thread line can make, linking the edge of a figure in one layer with the beginning of an individual journey in another. This Land depicts the migration history of North America, from the Native peoples of this land to those brought by force, need, or choice. For better or worse, North America is made up of dispersed populations and continues to struggle as a result. Through this work, I seek better understanding. Silk organza, cotton duck cloth, pigment, dye; Quilted and freestyle machine embroidered, photo silkscreened, hand dyed, screen printed, freestyle machine embroidered, drawn, hand and machine stitched.


photo by Ken Sanville

Stories of Migration

This Land 72 x 43 x 50 inches 2015

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Barbara J. Schneider Woodstock, Illinois, USA Generation 2500 was inspired by “To Walk the World,” an article by journalist Paul Salopek for National Geographic magazine. He has embarked on a sevenyear global trek from Africa to Tierra Del Fuego, following the migration of our Homo sapiens ancestors. In 2500 generations, they spread from Africa to the most remote parts of the earth. I wanted to depict the idea of generations moving onward, changing the world and humankind bit by bit, step by step. My interpretation was created as a 300-yard strip, dyed and silkscreened with 2500 overlapping handprints, wrapped as one continuous piece to represent the people, the generations, and the journey. Rayon challis fabric, dye, paint, interior ball form; Hand-dyed fabric, silkscreened, stitched, wrapped around an interior form for support.


photo by Lisa Beard

Stories of Migration

Generation 2500 60 x 28 x 28 inches 2015

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Maya Schonenberger Miami, Florida, USA The definition of “Internally Displaced” according to UNESCO: people who are forced to flee their homes, often for the very same reasons as refugees from war, civil conflict, political strife, and gross human rights abuse, but who remain within their own country and do not cross an international border. They are not eligible for protection under the same international system as refugees, and there is no single international body entrusted with their protection and assistance. Who are we to judge anyone’s tragedy in this world? Who are we to grant one person a safe home and send the other one back to his peril? Fabrics, polyethylene, fiberglass screen, batting (visible), dryer sheets, fabrics, grommets, and paint; Batting, screen material, polyethylene printed and painted, dryer sheets and fabrics are layered, mono printed, painted, raw edge appliquéd, machine stitched.


photo by Werner Boeglin

Stories of Migration

Displacement 35 x 49 inches 2015

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Sandra Sider Bronx, New York, USA As members of the Cherokee nation were forced by the U.S. government to walk the hellish Trail of Tears in the 1830s from their lands in the east to Oklahoma, many hundreds died along the way, including children. In the words of Lucy Ames Butler, a Presbyterian missionary and wife of a minister who supported the Cherokee and traveled with them, these souls were “swept into Eternity by the cupidity of the white man who is in the enjoyment of wealth and freedom on the original soil of these oppressed Indians.” Cyanotype chemicals, commercial cottons, embroidery floss, Cyanotype sun prints of foot bones (from an x-ray); Machine pieced, hand embroidered, hand quilted, machine stitched.


photo by Deidre Adams

Stories of Migration

Swept Into Eternity 56 x 75 inches 2015

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Ginny Smith Arlington, Virginia, USA Magical birds can be remembered by conventional means. The book Birds is descriptive of those fleeing disaster. Gone, they will be shrouded by the Garden, never to be seen. All cotton commercial fabric; Hand and machine appliquĂŠd, hand embroidered and hand quilted.


photo by Steve Tuttle

Stories of Migration

Birds 11 x 14 x 1 inches 2014

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Daniela Tiger Toronto, Ontario, Canada My people have been forced to leave their ancestral homelands for as long as history has been recorded. Moving towards an uncertain destiny as the story is written, without more than crackers in their pockets. In my work, I am attempting to create a narrative of a people on the move, some tired, some drained of all energy. And yet, some remain hopeful, searching into the horizon for some sign of welcome. They are weary as they carry their earthly belongings, their children and their elderly, escaping oppression and seeking a new start. Without a clear sense of destination, they cling to each other and have faith that a new day will dawn. Today our people cling to an ancestral home ferociously, hoping that our past identity that has been synonymous with the Diaspora can turn into a new page of permanence. Silk organza; Free motion stitched.


photo by Zenna Dunnewold

Stories of Migration

On the Path 45 x 120 inches 2015

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Susan Wei Ashland, New Hampshire, USA Unaccompanied children from Central America streamed across the border into the United States. They endured hunger, violence, and hardships as they made this trip. While they waited for their status to be determined, they were herded into army barracks, put on buses, housed in dog kennels, and made to feel very unwelcome. This was shameful and inhumane. This piece is to remind us of the plight of these immigrant children caught in violence and fleeing their homes for survival. Cotton and bamboo fabric, aluminum foil, chicken wire fencing, wood; Foam plate printed, hand-dyed, machine sewn.


photo by John Anderson

Stories of Migration

Children Are Not Criminals 32 x 36 x 3 inches 2014

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Stories of Migration

Shea Wilkinson Omaha, Nebraska, USA This piece depicts the global history of diaspora. The knots represent the migrations of people from every land, showing that all peoples originally came from somewhere else, and that migration was the way of life for so many millennia. The shape of my piece is based on Buckminster Fuller’s cuboctahedron map projection because I wanted to show a world without a “global consciousness,” where knowledge only extends as far as the neighboring geographic regions. Linen/cotton blend fabric, cotton fabric, wool felt, brass wire, stainless steel bars; Hand embroidered, free motion quilted, hand stitched.

Navigating a Broken World 43 x 61 x 7 inches 2015

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Stories of Migration

Hussein Chalayan London, United Kingdom Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, MBE, pushes the boundaries between clothing and art. In a 2009 interview at the Design Museum in London, the British/Turkish-Cypriot designer explained: “My work is about ideas. If I had to define my philosophy in just a few words, it would be about an exploration, a journey, storytelling.” Chalayan’s fall/winter 2000 collection, After Words, first presented at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, centered on the narrative of displacement and the tragedy of abandoning one’s home and possessions during wartime. Inspired by stories of his own family’s flight from Cyprus following a coup and invasion in 1974, Chalayan created a portable living room in which the upholstery becomes clothing, the chairs turn into suitcases, and the round coffee table transforms into a tiered skirt. Video of performance.


Stories of Migration

After Words 28.75 x 50 (monitor) 2000

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Shin-Hee Chin Hillsboro, Kansas, USA Cultural context has shaped almost all my works, as I have lived half my life in South Korea and the other half in the United States. In my years addressing the issue of a bi-cultural lifestyle, art has helped me reconcile the conflicts of the cultural influences that comprise my major sources of inspiration. In a mother tongue, one finds identity. It is natural, familiar, and easy. A foreign tongue feels unnatural, strange, and clumsy. Everything about a foreign tongue, especially when one deals with East versus West, is alien—alphabet, grammar, culture, and flavor. When one identifies a mother tongue, any other language becomes the “other.” Silk, polyester; Stenciled, appliqued, quilted, stitched.


Stories of Migration

Mother Tongue and Foreign Language 50 x 78 each 2013

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Aino Kajaniemi Jyväskylä, Finland The largest Finnish migration movement to the United States happened 150 years ago, mostly to Minnesota and Michigan. Path is an honor and a metaphor for this rocky road. The immigrants started to work as manual laborers—miners, woodcutters, and farmers—to get food for their family and to provide a better life and higher education for the next generation. Finns built their own schools, “halls,” and churches. In the year 1896, the Finlandia University was founded in Hancock, Michigan, and it is still in action. The Arctic tern is a bird that flies across the Atlantic Ocean from one continent to another, passing over both Finland and North America. This small bird follows the sun. It is the world’s longest distance migratory bird. I build my images from the dreams of the immigrants. Dreams, hope, and hard work together are like the wings; the rocky path can become mossy. Fiber, wire fencing; Assembled.


Stories of Migration

Path c. 96 inches long 2016

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Faith Ringgold La Jolla, California/Englewood, New Jersey, USA The Crown Heights Children’s History Quilt, commissioned for Public School 22, looks at twelve cultures that have settled the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. In an interview with Ronnie Eldridge, Faith Ringgold said, “Each group who comes here has their history, has their story.” Drawing on the history and folktales of these groups, Ringgold shows that diverse cultures have come together and all have contributed to the American spirit. In the video Faith Ringgold: Paints Crown Heights, Ringgold says, “Being an artist is an opportunity for me to have something to say about the world and to be able to communicate that something to other people.” Folktales pictured in the quilt are Anansi Stories (Jamaican); The Negro Speaks of Rivers and We Wear the Mask (West African); The Ghost of Peg Leg Peter (Dutch); The Banza (Haitian); The Winged Head (Algonquin); Bright Morning Runs East (Mohawk); Catherine the Wise (Italian); The Rainbow-colored Horse (Puerto Rican); Sea Mountain Spirits (Vietnamese); Which is Witch (Korean); The Lost Princess (Jewish). Fabric; Painted and pieced.


Stories of Migration

Crown Heights Children’s History Quilt 108 x 144 inches 1994

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Consuelo Jiménez Underwood Cupertino, California, USA Throughout one’s life, the most challenging and rewarding [feeling] is to be free. When crossing borders we see the darker side of nations which have forgotten their idealistic manifestos of liberty and justice for all. When crossing borders we observe quietly the decimation of a very fragile and beautiful natural landscape. When we cross borders we quickly forget the old and focus on the new, no matter how stark and bleak the future looks. My work reflects personal border experiences: understanding the interconnectedness of societies, insisting on beauty in struggle, and celebrating my tri-cultural lens. Materials that reflect contemporary hypermodern sensitivity are interwoven to create large scale fiber art inspired in equal measures by land, politics, and the spirit. Crossing borders since birth, Consuelo Jiménez Underwood Los Angeles Borderline 2014 is one of a series Underwood continues to create. This exhibition will include a unique sitespecific installation. Paint, barbed wire, nails, fabric; Painted, quilted, assembled.


Image courtesy of University Art Gallery at California State University, Dominguez Hills

Stories of Migration

Undocumented Border Flowers (Borderlandia Series) 204 x 288 inches 2014

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William Adjété Wilson Paris, France The Black Ocean, a series of 18 appliqué hangings illustrating 500 hundred years of the African diaspora, is William Adjété Wilson’s homage to his ancestors and a reflection on humanity. Wilson, the son of an African father and a French mother, said in an interview with art historian Achille Mbembe, “In my work, I desire to draw in the spectator.” Using West African pictographs, he invites the viewer “to explore this Black Ocean, tracing back a past that is far from concluded, since it holds the keys to understanding the present.” Wilson stitches together small fragments of cloth as a metaphor for telling the story of a larger world. Fabric; Appliquéd, pieced, embroidered.


Stories of Migration

Passage, from The Black Ocean 18 panels, 42” x 67” each 2007-2008

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Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA now has over 3,400 members worldwide: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors. Since its establishment, the organization has grown alongside the evolution of the quilt as an art form. Today, SAQA defines an art quilt as a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure. One of the many member benefits SAQA offers is to bring beautiful, thought-provoking, cutting-edge artwork to venues across the United States and around the world. The exhibits not only give artists the opportunity to show their work, but also expose the public to the variety and complexity of the art quilt genre. In addition to mounting museum-quality exhibitions that travel the world, SAQA documents the art quilt movement through exhibition catalogs such as this one. These catalogs serve as not only as preservation and educational tools, but also as sources of inspiration and beauty to be returned to again and again.


Stories of Migration

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum opened in March 2015 on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus in the heart of Washington, D.C. Focused on art, history, and culture, it unites The Textile Museum’s highly regarded textile collections from around the globe with the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, and accompanying research center, that traces the founding and evolution of the nation’s capital. Supporting the museum is a state-of-the-art conservation and collections resource center on GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

About The Textile Museum The Textile Museum was established in 1925 by collector and connoisseur George Hewitt Myers to expand public knowledge and appreciation—locally, nationally, and internationally—of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world’s textiles through scholarship, exhibitions, and educational programs. For eighty-nine years (1925–2014), the museum was housed in Myers’s family home and an adjacent building in D.C.’s Dupont-Kalorama neighborhood. In 2011, The Textile Museum announced an affiliation with GW to create a new museum venture.

Today, The Textile Museum’s collections include more than 20,000 handmade textiles and carpets representing five millennia and cultures from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as the 20,000-volume Arthur D. Jenkins Library—the world’s largest library devoted exclusively to textiles. The Textile Museum’s rotating exhibitions, which draw from its collections and loans from other institutions, are internationally recognized for presenting the best in textile art. In its new home at GW, The Textile Museum has expanded impact, bringing new opportunities for teaching and learning to the university community and the public. From integrating with the university’s diverse academic disciplines (such as GW’s Diaspora Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs) to introducing an ambitious new contemporary art program to training the next generation of museum professionals, the museum is inspiring new audiences to appreciate textiles as art and understand their significance in the lives of individuals and communities around the world.

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Profile for SAQA

Stories of Migration (SAQA Global Exhibition)  

This timely exhibition, presented at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, showcased the wide range of talent of o...

Stories of Migration (SAQA Global Exhibition)  

This timely exhibition, presented at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, showcased the wide range of talent of o...

Profile for saqaart

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