Stars Rise Over Riverside

I had the opportunity to teach fiber art and poetry to a Sociology and History Course, “Gender, Family, and Society.” This was made possible through RAM, a Riverside Art Make grant. Building on the theme, “Stars Rise Over Riverside,” the students created quilted stars and a community poem. They each made three quilted stars. Two for a collaborative art installation of textile stars crafted of recycled scraps. The third meant as a gift to be shared. The students wrote “star words of hope” on the back of each star.


Most of the students came from around the world and many are the first in their families to attend college. Several had not created with fabrics before. Some found out that they were creative. They were able to produce an art work of their own design. Some of their star words: Seek, Radiant, Equality, Trust, Authenticity, Support, Resilience.


My hope was to give them tools of visual art and the written word to express who they are or to help others do the same. A way to share their stories.


For the community poem they each wrote a stanza about dreams, goals, what is unique to their family culture, or what they see in their community as a star overlooking Riverside. We stood in a circle and read the poem. Some were funny and many were serious. Interesting to see what was going on in the lives of these students and how they perceived the world around them.


Next came the installation of the fiber stars. This art work will hang on and off campus. The community poem will be performed at the Riverside Art Museum next summer. It was rewarding to see the smiles on the student’s faces as they watched me install the art. The poem is posted near the art. Everyone is a star!


An enriching experience. Thanks to all who supported this project and to all who participated.


~ by fiberverse on February 27, 2015.

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