Verge Center for the Arts is proud to debut “25 Million Stitches: One Stitch, One Refugee,” a dazzling tapestry fiber art installation showcasing 2200 panels that will be on special display from June 12 through August 22, 2021. Verge Center for the Arts is the first stop for this striking traveling art installation designed to bring awareness to the approximately 25 million people across the globe who have been forced to flee their homelands as a consequence of genocide, war, poverty, natural disasters, targeted violence, and other grave threats. With safety measures in place, an opening reception for “25 Million Stitches” is scheduled for Saturday evening, June 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Verge Center for the Arts (625 S Street); this event is free and open to the public. After opening night, the public is encouraged to visit Verge to experience the limited-time installation on Thursdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.; Verge is open to the public and offers free admission to guests.
Created by multi-media artist Jennifer Kim Sohn (who is currently a resident artist at Verge Center for the Arts), “25 Million Stitches” is a community art installation of embroidered fabric panels by volunteers all over the world. Panels, each of which are the result of hours of hand-sewn labor and dedication by participants young and old, artists and novice stitchers came from 49 states and 36 countries across six continents. The visually-enticing panels also have an important narrative quality, both individually and in their collective presentation with each stitch representing one refugee design to help visitors visualize the enormity of the global refugee crisis. Many panels convey images, symbols, and messages of solidarity, hope and community. The culmination of this community effort is a grand collection of diverse tapestries comprised of each participant’s unique expression of solidarity with the world’s refugees. The goal of the installation is that the collective act of stitching and the resulting work will help bring attention to the scale of the crisis by providing a quiet space for reflection that will inspire action.
“By working in ‘traditionally feminine’ craft, such as embroidery and textile arts, I hope my art engages others by tapping into our shared experiences and emotions,” said artist Jennifer Kim Sohn. “Ultimately, I hope it empowers viewers to advocate for change and find solutions for the crises and conflicts facing the world today.”