Not Your Mother's Sewing Circle

by Press Release | Jul 3, 2005
New Exhibit Challenges the Notion of Sewing as Simply Women's Work

This is not your mother's sewing circle. From tea bags sewn to toilet paper, bicycle tires stitched together as if a rubber blanket, to an embroidered place mat that reads "Unexpressed Resentment," the exhibit "Needle Art: A Postmodern Sewing Circle," which opens on Wednesday, July 6, at the Rutgers-Camden Stedman Gallery, showcases how sewing can be a form of artistic expression not a craft isolated within the domestic sphere.

An ancient tool, the needle threads together the various techniques, materials, and sensibilities in the 50 works of art featured in this exciting exhibition. Familiar methods of embroidery, quilting, beadwork, and upholstery are applied to modern materials, including beach towels, army blankets, tissues, and even baseballs. The exhibit also has fun with looking at famous works of "art" through the eye of a sewing needle, like artist Didi Dunphy's embroidering Piet Mondrian's geometric shapes onto a cloth hoop, or artist John Spear's reenvisioning of the famous print of dogs playing poker by using fabric to set the scene and sock puppets to serve as card players.

More than 360 children from Camden will also see the world of sewing differently when they take part in art workshops that thread together themes raised in the "Needle Art" exhibit. Conducted through the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, this summer arts education program will include activities like teaching children how to create their own mobiles and wind chimes from an array of fabrics and materials, like artist Lee Plato did in the piece "Folk Art," which is on display in the Stedman Gallery.

The arts education workshops begin this week on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

"Needle Art" is on view through Aug. 13. Admission is free.

Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Stedman Gallery is located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers-Camden Campus.

For more information, contact Rutgers-Center for the Arts Marketing Manager Simone Jones at (856) 225-2913.

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