HEALING COATS

June 26, 2022 - November 27, 2022

Image credit: Sayokla Kindness Williams (detail).
Image credit: Sayokla Kindness Williams (detail).

If you were the messenger of healing, what would you want to do or say?
What does it mean to learn about healing from each other?

Although Call & Response artist Arianne King Comer has been physically absent from Lynden for the past two pandemic years, she has been everywhere in our work: sitting on the HOME Refugee Steering Committee, collaborating with Daniel Minter, and working with local refugees, steering committee members, Call & Response artists, and friends and colleagues from across the country on an exhibition of wearable art. Community engagement specialist Kim Khaira has been coordinating the project on the ground in Milwaukee, procuring sewing machines, pairing designers with seamstresses, staffing translators for virtual meetings with King Comer, and taking refugees to the fabric store for supplies.

The “healing coats” produced through this process incorporate cultural and personal symbols of healing. By bringing the coats together in the gallery this summer, we bring together “many voices that speak freely to one another.” By collaborating across the Call & Response and HOME communities, we demonstrate the intentional intersectionality of our work. We speak of our interactions and observations with each other through wearable art making, relating at a local and personal level, while creating the potential to take these ideas to wider regional, national, and international audiences through travelling exhibitions and virtual archives. Ultimately, we see this exhibition as the next stage in a conversation that began with these questions: If you were the messenger of healing, what would you want to do or say? What does it mean to learn about healing from each other? As these questions move beyond this first group of makers, we envision the call rippling outward to artists, artisans, makers, and community members in Milwaukee and beyond.

We open Healing Coats on June 26, 2022, as we celebrate World Refugee Day at Lynden. This is a Call & Response/HOME event.


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