Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Connected by a Thread

The following press release was sent to local and state media outlets this week:

Fiber Art Exhibit -- Connected by a Thread

Charleston, SC -- July 15, 2011  The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild and the Center for Women will con-sponsor an exhibit of photographs and woven tapestries entitled Connected by a Thread on display August 8 - Oct. 1 at the Center for Women.

The exhibit celebrates the three-year collaboration between the local fiber arts guild and the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative, a sustainable weaving operation in Lesotho, which is a small nation located in southern Africa.
Lesotho is an autonomous "kingdom" located within the boundaries of South Africa. It is a mountainous country whose residents depend on herding goats and sheep for subsistence income. Men raise the livestock and manage its sale and distribution in cooperatives. Opportunities for women who are "head of household" have been limited, but in the 1980s a half-dozen women-owned tapestry businesses were organized in Lesotho and local women trained to be spinners, dyers, and weavers. These businesses were sustained with involvement of European mentors until the 1990s when the local women took them over as cooperatives.
In 2009 the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild raised money to train four women in Maseru as tapestry weavers and the students responded by sending the Guild a wall hanging entitled "Women's Meeting." This tapestry serves as the centerpiece for Connected by a Thread which includes several other large pieces woven by members of the coop along with a series of photographs taken in Lesotho of the weavers, their looms, and their work space.
Detail of Women's Meeting, given to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild by the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative in 2010.
A public reception for Connected by as Thread will be held Thursday, September 15, 5;00 - 7:00 PM at the Center for Women located at 129 Cannon Street in downtown Charleston. August 8 - Oct. 1 the exhibit is available for viewing during the Center's hours of operation (Monday - Thursday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, and Friday, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM) except times when the meeting room is in use. To determine availability, please call 843-763-7333.
A photograph from Connected by a Thread:  Dressed in traditional Basotho finery, Me. Mesetumo Lebitsa, manager of the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative, demonstrates spinning wool on a spinning wheel made of wood and a tube-less bicycle wheel, commonly seen around the town of Maseru.
An affiliate of The Handweavers Guild of America, the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild serves the greater Charleston area as a membership organization that promotes traditional and contemporary skills in a wide range of fiber arts including, but not limited to, weaving, spinning, dying, felting, basketry, quilting, knitting, crocheting, tatting and bead weaving.

The Center for Women is the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. It offers programs and events aimed at making personal and professional success an everyday event for women in the Lowcountry.

To learn more about either organization, please visit their web sites at www.palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com and www.c4women.org .

For prior postings Maseru Tapestries Cooperative see:
www.palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com/2009/05/fundraising-for-small-south-african.html 

and  http://palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com/2009/06/upcoming-guild-meeting-june-20.html

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