Winter HeARTh: unCOVERed

Last week I attended another community stitching event. Winter HeARTh: unCOVERed took a cue from the Black Lives Matter Witness Quilt and had us making quilt squares with a different twist. Organizer Jason Brown had us question what it means to feel “covered” by community, and also what it means to feel “uncovered/exposedâ” by the community.

With various stitches and denim quilt squares, participants contributed to what will be a community quilt celebrating our strengths and honoring our weaknesses. The quilted pieces will then become garments for empowerment, to be used and celebrated at a future event.

They wrote down the meaning of the words and symbols they stitched on the denim. The warm colors on the darker denim being ‘covered’ words, and the lighter denim with cool colors signifying what is ‘uncovered’.

Northwestern students dropped by to interview us, one for the Daily Northwestern and another as a class project.

Jason collaborated with Melissa Blount to determine how to approach a community quilt, since she has the expertise from last year’s quilting project. The Witness Quilt is an ongoing project as well.

In its fifth year, Winter HeARTh is an annual community public art series that seeks to bring together the residents of Evanston during the cold, isolating winter months. Each project consists of a low-barrier (everybody welcome!) collectively made project, and a temporary public installation. This is a fun way for artists and amateurs alike to come out and make something, and have it make the public square shine a little brighter.

A second Winter HeARTh: unCovered (Pt. 2) session will be held March 10 from 11 a.m. to  4 p.m. at Reba Place Church, 620 Madison Street in Evanston. 

This project is open for all – stitchers extraordinaire, and for those of us who “just have a cousin that crafts.” This project is as much about the people as the art, and we want many voices to take part. The event will run open-house style: come when you can, stay as long as you like.

Initiated and produced annually by Jason, Winter HeARTh is an inherently collaborative effort. Each year, it has been sponsored by the Evanston Arts Council, and supported by creative partners such as Downtown Evanston, the Ridgeville Foundation, the Evanston Public Library, as well as local businesses and eateries.

In light of recent events, not all words were warm and fuzzy.

Jason’s intent is to spark conversation around these words and address how we can fix it. As Melissa said, Evanston as a town seems to be willing to address these issues, where other municipalities are not.

So join in, and get to know your neighbors!

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