People of Harvest an Embroidered Art and Idea Exchange

In Art for Societal Change taught by Paulette Moore at Northland College, students and members of the Ashland/Chequamegon Bay area participated in an embroidered art and idea exchange featuring several embroidered photos focused on the aspect of harvest and locally grown foods. An interview with the students who participated in the project took place in the Alvord Theater on Thursday December 3 2015.

Q: What is art for societal change?
Petter’s Response- It is using any type of art form to gather many types of people together in order to change the society for a better. I believe we should use art to change society for the better.

Q: What was the scope of the project?

Oli responded saying this project focused on the concept of harvest and how we can use embroidery in a visual art set. Panel embroidering involving local community members who participated in embroidery circles while using photographs from local farmers. It was a  Large scope project but focused on the community within 30 miles who participated in the sewing circles at black cat, art building, and the library at Northland College. There was a large focus on where your food comes from. This project was done in partnership with NASA and the Indigenous Culture Center.

Q: What is hope of the project?

Frank- This project opens up a platform and makes people question where their food comes from, and gets people thinking about what they use since our society consumes so much!

Q: What were the biggest challenges?

Tim- Organizing everything, events who’s coming, making sure everyone has their contributions turned in on time, contacting people to interview. Logistics the who, what, when and where.

Q: What were the biggest surprises and rewards?

Ava answered- Seeing the panels after the sewing circles, coming out with beautiful embroidered photo panels. The pieces were absolutely stunning. Biggest reward was working on something academic and having it transform into something so special all while working with the class in coordination.

Q: What does the embroidering and beading do?

Eliza- Developed the whole idea of play and added a story. It made the art 3 dimensional adding depth to the story and picture. Embroidery and beading is really in right now. It helped this project connect to today and develop a more meaningful impact into the picture. We learned how to bead from the indigenous culture center and they gave each bead a meaning and a spirit that infused a value to everything that we did. Everything we did has and intention.

Q: Show me how and why the beading changes or adds meaning attention or focus to a piece.

Savannas Response:


The mustache adds a funny aspect to the pcture and the veins of the kale give the photos depth and character. They add value and allow you to interact with art. It’s a fun project that’s alot more inviting and a much more holistic way of interacting with art.

Q: What do you think the experience of others who see and participate in the project has been?
Charlotte- At first glance the photos are visually pleasing and you initially think of harvest in the area at a superficial level but when you see that the pictures are embroidered it let’s you soak it all in, it let’s you marvel over each stitch and brings concepts home and makes it more personal. Makes it more important to people.

The Next Show will be at the Black Cat in Ashland on Thursday December 10th  from 2 to 4pm. The art display will be hung in the back room of the coffee shop.


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