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Fiber Arts Exhibit Supports Emerging Students

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

BOSTON, Mass. - On January 7, 2015, United South End Settlements (USES) will co-sponsor an opening reception for The Theresa Show: Fiber Arts Exhibit & Silent Auction from 6 – 8 p.m. in honor of the late Theresa-India Young. Since her passing in 2008 after a brief battle with cancer, the Theresa-India Young Scholarship Committee has carried on her life's work of preserving the art, history and diverse culture of weaving through the ongoing efforts of the Theresa-India Young Ethnic Weaving Scholarship established at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Theresa weaving

Janet Kawada has been a juror for The Theresa Show for the last three years and is the liaison for MassArt where the scholarship resides. Theresa taught at MassArt through the Continuing Education program and reflects: “She was a wonderful advocate for all the students and the program here.” Kawada has a long history with Massart since 1987 as a student to currently serving on the faculty. With a background in fiber including weaving and surface design, her work is mixed media focusing on sculpture and felting.

“The applicants for this year's show highlight a variety of techniques and a wide geographic area.” Remarks Kawada. Beverly Arsem also assisted with the jurying process, and is a practicing artist from Jamaica Plain.

The Theresa Show, on view at the Harriet Tubman Gallery through January 7 – February 13, 2015, features the support of artists including: Elizabeth Belstraz, Amy DiPlacido, Lmerchie Frazier, Mary A. Geisser, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Selina Narovlansky, Jeffrey Nowlin, Susan Thompson, with guest artist Mathias Tusime and 2014 scholarship recipient Rachel Oswald. Each represents diversity in perspective, styles, processes, and material usage, while simultaneously illustrating and sharing art forms with various audiences.

Each artist is donating a portion of their proceeds from the silent auction sales to the Theresa-India Young Ethnic Weaving Scholarship established at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. All visitors are welcome to bid until the closing of the exhibit on February 13, 2015. Fundraising for the scholarship is ongoing, and donations can be made to United South End Artists, P.O. Box 181114, Boston, 02118.

Rachel Oswald, the winner of this year's scholarship, will have her piece Aphrodite at the show. Rachel is a MassArt senior Fiber major whose goal is to be a successful, professional artist. She says "Art provides me a comfort and avenue for expression and relaxation like nothing else I've found." Rachel’s love of fiber art began at a young age when her grandmother taught her how to knit, crochet and sew in suburban Massachusetts.


At MassArt, Rachel studied under Ann Wessmann, and reflects “I immediately loved the possibilities inherent in the simultaneously simple and complex ideas, processes and designs that weaving involves. To me, weaving is a language in which I can speak freely. I love to combine vibrant color, symbolic narrative and intricate, detailed, embellished designs. I have long dreamed of owning my own loom, and I am eternally grateful for the legacy of Theresa-India Young for making this a possibility. I have worked extremely hard during my time at MassArt, and it feels just absolutely wonderful to be acknowledged and honored by receiving this scholarship.”

The Harriet Tubman Gallery showcases a range of diverse, cultural and community-driven works that foster a strong sense of neighborhood appreciation where all individuals are welcome. Located at 566 Columbus Avenue in Boston’s South End, the Harriet Tubman Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 am – 8 pm. The gallery is wheelchair accessible, with limited meter parking is available in the area, and only a 5 minute walk from the Massachusetts Avenue Orange Line stop or the #1 and #43 buses.

For more information please visit United South End Settlements website at or contact Chelsea Revelle, Director of Arts & Culture at 617-375-8159.

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