SPOKEN THREADS: Craftivist Fiber Art

November 9, 2013 to December 21, 2013

“Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions
through creativity makes your voice stronger,
your compassion deeper & your quest for justice  more infinite.”
~ Craftivist, Betsy Greer

Spoken Threads Image created by Christian Charles

Spoken Threads was a collection of fiber art that takes its inspiration from the traditional women-made crafts such as quilting, knitting, weaving, sewing and cross-stitch. It featured women atists from across the USA, including Central New York, as well as those from Canada and the UK who use their art to speak wisdom on a variety of social and environmental issues. During the time of year that many consumers reach for something mass-produced off an end-cap display, this exhibition was a celebration of the handmade.

Spoken Threads: Craftivist Fiber Art curated by Brooke Baerman, Sharon Bottle-Souva, Kimberley McCoy & Rose Viviano

Robin Hood Tax Banner outside bank station – Sarah Corbett

Craftivist Collective –  London, UK
Once upon a time, Sarah Corbett was a burned out activist and worryingly doubting the effectiveness of many traditional campaign methods. She then discovered cross stitch as a hobby and loved it! Then something clicked and she saw how, through craft, she could engage herself and others in global issues in a non-threatening and deeply engaging way. She put her craft and activism together and became a craftivist.

Bicicleta Verde (Green Bicycle) (2006) – Margarita Cabrera

Margarita Cabrera – Texas
Margarita Cabrera was born in 1973 in Monterrey, Mexico. She lived in Mexico City for ten years and then immigrated to the U.S. with her family. She received an MFA from Hunter College in New York, NY. Cabrera currently lives and works in El Paso, Texas.

Some Cages II (2013) – Eva Capobianco

Eva M. Capobianco – New York
Eva M. Capobianco grew up on Long Island in a large, Catholic, working class family.  Living and working in Manhattan, and then later on Staten Island, Ms. Capobianco exhibited in numerous group shows in the city and around the country.  She moved to Ithaca in 2001.  Capobianco has had a number of solo shows in Manhattan, Staten Island, Demarest, NJ, Corning and in Ithaca, New York where she currently resides.


Green Is More Than A Color (2011) – Emily Dvorin





Emily Dvorin – California
Emily is a self-taught, award-winning fiber artist. In the early 80s, she took a basket workshop in the basement of the old Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and her life was forever changed. Emily retired to live her life’s dream of being a full-time artist. She now has a studio in Sausalito, California.

No Fracking In My Backyard (2011) ~ detail – Mary Louise Gerek


Mary Louise Gerek – New York
Mary Louise Gerek has been involved in needle arts as long as she can remember.  She started quilting in 2005, inspired by a trip to the American Southwest. She currently lives and works in Rochester, New York.






Mary Giehl- New York
Mary Giehl was a Registered Nurse for 22 years working in the Pediatric ICU.  In 1985 she returned to school to study Fiber Arts at Syracuse University in 1989 with her BFA in Fiber Arts, and MFA in Sculpture in 1992.  Mary taught part time at Syracuse University in Sculpture and Fiber/Materials Studies till 2011 and now spends her time in her studio.

Betsy Greer – Virgina
Betsy Greer has been called a lot of things, a crafter, an activist, an unsung hero, the godmother of Craftivism, among other things. She got her M.A. in Sociology from Goldsmiths College in London in 2004. Her master’s dissertation was on knitting, DIY culture and community development.

Cupcakes? (2009) ~ detail – Amanda K. Gross

Amanda K. Gross – Pennsylvania
Amanda K. Gross is a fiber and mixed media artist living and working in Pittsburgh. She has designed and facilitated community murals and quilting projects in collaboration with schools, community centers, and nonprofit organizations.

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds…- Barb Hunt

Barb Hunt – Canada
Barb Hunt received a Diploma in Studio Art from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and completed an MFA at Concordia University, Montreal. She has participated in residencies in Canada, Paris and Ireland; has presented her research at numerous conferences; and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

South Side Angel 2013 – Vanessa Johnson


Vanessa Johnson- New York
Vanessa Johnson is a Fiber Artist/Griot/Storyteller in the West African tradition. She uses words, music, and her Mixed Media Fiber Creations to tell stories documenting Social Justice Movements including the Underground Railroad, Women’s Rights Movement and Civil Rights Movements; Pan-Africanism; Environmental Justice; Gun Control and Modern Day Human Trafficking. She works and lives in both Syracuse and Ghana.

Thea, the Fracktivist Puppet (2010) – Vizma Leimanis

Vizma Leimanis – New York
Now “nearly 13”, Vizma attended the Open Hand Theater’s Circus Camp when she was 9 years old and decided to take Art. Everybody who chooses to take Art at the camp makes a puppet. Since then she has made 5 puppets. She loves all kinds of art and lives in LaFayette, New York.

Corkgun (2009) ~ detail – Elaine Longtemps

Elaine Longtemps – New York
Elaine Mendolia Longtemps, received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design where she was an honor student chosen to participate in the RISD European Honors Program in Rome, Italy.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and in Canada.  She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.




Never Real & Always True – Pam McLaughli

Pam McLaughlin- New YorkPam is a video artist, multi-media sculptor and member of the legendary band, Shag on Roofs. She has been Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY for over thirteen years. Pam earned her Ph.D. in Art Education at Syracuse University.

Sea Change (2009) – Adrienne Sloane

Adrienne Sloane – Massachusetts
An award winning contemporary fiber artist, Adrienne Sloane has shown her work nationally for over 20 years. She also teaches sculptural fiber internationally as well as having worked with indigenous knitters in Bolivia and Peru.

Tied Up in Red Tape (2012) – Pamela Palma

Pamela Palma – Florida
Pamela Palma is a professional fiber artist who discovered her affinity for textiles as a small child. She is currently an artist in residence at the Bakehouse Art Complex in the Wynwood arts district in the City of Miami.

1317 Charbonnet Street (2007) – Loren Schwerd

Loren Schwerd – Louisiana
Loren is a mixed-media artist based in New Orleans. Her works have been exhibited at nationally and internationally. She received her BFA in Studio Art from Tulane University and her MFA in Sculpture in from Syracuse University, and she is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana State University.



Sharon Bottle-Souva – New York
Sharon has been working with needles and fabric in one form or another since she was a child. She began making quilts in 1976, putting them on the walls instead of beds. She lives and works in Syracuse, New York.


Anne Cofer – New York
Anne Cofer is currently an adjunct faculty member of the department of Fiber and Material Studies at Syracuse University. She received ‘Best in Show’ at the 2008 Everson Biennial and her first museum solo show ‘Concealed Objects’ was held at the Everson Museum of Art in 2009. Her work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception,  the New York Times and appears in the Lark Books publication entitled ‘500 Ceramic Sculptures’. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Sighting In: A National Shame (2013) – Sally Dutko

Sally Dutko – New York
Sally Dutko is an award-winning fiber artist who lives and works in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. Sally received her BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art, Architecture and Engineering and retired after 30 years at Cornell University as a graphic designer, Art Director and Director of Publications and Marketing.




This exhibition is made possible in part with funding from

Exhibition Sponsors: Van & Casey Cleary-Hammarstedt, Annemarie Deegan,
Theresa Deegan, Deirdre Neilen, Chrissie Rizzo, Walter Putter & Marilyn Smith
Season Sponsors: Dik Cool, the Holtz Family Fund, Mary Kuhn,
Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead, Jeff Unaitis and Amy Zamkoff.
Sustaining Sponsor: Ruth Putter