Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Looking For a Mate in Galesburg

(Above: Looking for a Mate in Galesburg, a unique sock art quilt. 55" x 55". "Mateless" socks donated to the public on recycled felt. Click on this or any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

One of the missions of the Studios Midwest program is for artists-in-residence to conduct a public art project. They put it this way:

Studios Midwest brings artists to Galesburg, Illinois to engage and impact the community through creative and collab­o­rative art. The program works with each artist to create an envi­ronment ripe for the emerging trend of art and social practice. Distinct from modern art of the twentieth century, social practice builds on a variety of contem­porary art move­ments while incor­po­rating elements of soci­ology, anthro­pology, social work, envi­ron­men­talism, and community outreach.

I put it in SOCKS!

(Above: Looking For a Mate in Galesburg with a clothesline of "mateless" socks.)

Even before I arrived, the public was invited to donate their "mateless" socks. There was a newspaper article printed during my first week in Illinois. The work was also shown during "First Friday" on Seminary Street. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the residency, I was at the Galesburg Civic Art Center holding a "new age" quilting bee with community volunteers. I've blogged about it HERE. Well, the piece is finished, mounted, and hanging in the foyer of "The Box", the exhibition space where created my giant canopy. Both my residency work (The Canopy) and this public sock art quilt will enjoy a reception this coming Friday night, August 24th from 6 - 8 PM.

(Above: Creating a clothesline of "mateless" socks with clients of KCCDD, a private agency providing day programming for adults with disabilities.)

There were, however, extra socks! Leftover and "mateless"! What to do?

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to create a clothesline of socks with clients of KCDD, a private agency providing day programming for adults with disabilities. I went on Tuesday morning and within a hour we were heavily into stitching and knotting all the socks. The conversation was lively. Everyone was successful in attaching the socks ... even a staff person learned a new way to thread a needle! We made short work of this attractive decoration. It is now proudly hanging overhead in the foyer of The Box, a perfect compliment to the public sock art quilt.

My contact person was Lisa Stephens who has been a long time supporter of Studios Midwest.

I can honestly say that only one sock came detached after the hour at KCCDD ... and that likely happened as a result of untangling it for hanging! It was truly my privilege to work with this agency ... and to spread the love of stitching and quilting to a new group of people!


Roberta said...

I have no words. A remarkable project.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful project with a very deserving group of people!!!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Your sock quilt is fantastic! So cheerful and colorful, like a crazy quilt.

Chara Neophytou said...

I have many orphan socks.. i think i'll make my own quilt as a reminder that even disorder can be creative!!! thanks for the idea and keep up the good work!!

Graphic Design Los Angeles | Space Light Digital said...

Great idea and its so cute! I hope that this project will be a success because its all worthy the effort and the idea is there.

Wanda said...

And once again, you touch more people. What a wonderful project! So successful and fun and meaningful...on as high a level or as low as you want to go. Great stuff, Susan!

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking about this project, and wonder what it would look like as a "Lost and Found" quilt. So often, children in my school leave their belongings on the playground, and never pick them back up again. At the end of the semester/year everything is donated to an organization. Might be interesting to take some of those things to illustrate the "found" pile.

wholly jeanne said...

You know I love this project, given the collaborative project I'm doing with my developmentally disabled sister-in-law. And for the record, I don't just love it cause of the elves and helpers - it's downright fun from start to finish.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

Just WOW! is all I can say
What a lovely idea and precious thought to do this

Maryse said...

I love this so much.How did u find all those helpful special adults? Ehere is this exhibited?Thank you.
Always Sewing,

Susan Lenz said...

Maryse, this exhibition and blog post were in 2012. This was part of my art residency with Studios Midwest in Galesburg, Illinois.