Community Connections: Closely Knit, Woven Together with Play Cousins Collective

Closely Knit, Woven Together with Play Cousins Collective

Opened February 2021

Closely Knit, Woven Together is an exhibition that explores self-discovery, interconnectivity, and family history. Working together to create tapestry-inspired wall hangings, parents and their children illustrate how their lives are woven and bonded together.

Each artist was introduced to the art of Coptic tapestries, the artform of combining of plain weave and tapestry decorations on sacred cloth. Each artist engaged in quilting their own family and personal stories through one uniform design. Each artwork tells a story through layers, texture, simplicity, and color.

Many of the artists in this exhibition are participants from Play Cousin’s Collective, an organization located in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. The mission of Play Cousin’s Collective is to build villages for our children by weaving quilts of interconnectedness with extended kin, by practicing Ancestral methods of healing and resilience. This mixed group of artists were all community members who sought to create stronger bonds within their family unit.

This exhibition was inspired by Ebony G. Patterson’s while the dew is still on the roses… as well as the Speed’s tapestry gallery. Patterson’s artwork unveiled to each artist how big, expressive, and bold a single family’s story can be. Every family gleaned inspiration from Patterson’s work to make their family narrative not only colorful, but impactful. Tapestries like the ones in the Tapestry gallery were commissioned by kings and queens to create narratives about the best parts of their family and their lives. Creating these works allowed our families to also elevate themselves into the likeness of nobility.

Through the Community Connections program, the Speed Art Museum seeks to positively impact our community by creating artistic platforms that amplify the voice of individuals and groups which are largely unheard. We do this by strengthening our connection with others through building reciprocal relationships based on shared understanding and compassion.

Support for this project was provided by South Arts and the Norton Foundation. Additional support for Community Connections is provided by Frank and Paula Harshaw.