For this year’s annual ArtsBash soiree, slated for May 28, ArtsWestchester plans to unveil a new fabric sculpture so large it isn’t in the building — it’s on it.
The organization has teamed up with Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Browder, known for her large-scale edifice-covering textile creations, to create Metropolis Sunrise, her largest project ever. Browder’s work has already adorned close to two-dozen buildings, but utilizing more than 10,000 square feet of brightly colored fabric, this new piece is nothing short of colossal.
That fabric will be in part collected from the local community, who can donate large swathes of “rich, saturated, colorful fabric” to designated drop-off locations at ArtsWestchester, the Bennett Conservatory of Music, Blue Door Art Center, The Arc Westchester, Pelham Art Center, India Center of Westchester, and Rye Arts Center. Once unveiled, the work will be draped over the nine-story ArtsWestchester building for six weeks, with an accompanying gallery inside detailing the community’s work throughout the build process.
“I saw how I could use my interest in geometry to build unique projects with this discarded material,” Browder says. “This practice of working big and draping urban structures supported my interest in working outside the gallery or museum, as well as learning more about my local community through the practice of art making and the local histories surrounding the fabric donations.”
“What is so unique to this project is the deep history surrounding fabric and textiles in the Westchester area,” she says. “If we look at the deep histories of the area, many people’s families started their businesses in the garment and textiles field. This process has now been moved overseas and has created a disconnect between what we wear and where the history started in the area.”
If you’d like to get a little more hands-on, Brodwer will also be hosting more than 20 local Community Sewing Days where Westchesterites can come pin, sew, and otherwise help physically craft the enormous, multi-story design. Dates begin January 25 and run through the end of March.
“We have encouraged everyone to participate by either sewing, pinning or just chatting with us about their personal history. No experience is required, and we are happy to teach anyone how to use the machine!” She adds, “This project is a celebration of the people of the area at this time, almost like a time-capsule.”
“Amanda’s projects are so powerful because they bring communities together at every level of their making, presenting multiple opportunities for inclusion,” says ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam. “We hope the community will embrace this project and take part in our public sewing days so that the final public art installation will be a true celebration of creativity, community and sustainability.”
To find out how you can get involved with this project, click here.