We were incredibly humbled when the team from Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center asked us to create the title showpiece for their new exhibition, I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD. Given the museum’s rich history, relevance to our community, and compelling exhibition subject, we were so excited and honored to create and sew a banner that encompassed the ideas and purpose of I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.
The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center was founded in 1993 to preserve the history and explore the legacy of Black Mountain College, which closed in 1957. The college operated under guiding principles that art was essential to a liberal arts education, and many of its students went on to be significant figures in the world of art.
In 1993, Mary Holden founded the Black Mountain College Museum with the goal of highlighting and exploring the college’s profound influence on modern and contemporary visual and performance art.
The piece we sewed for the I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD exhibition, known to us as Global Mending, is comprised entirely from rescued & recycled materials and incorporates our American Boro technique that minimizes fabric waste.
Our American Boro technique saves fabric scraps from the landfill through a stitching process inspired by boroboro, a traditional garment mending process of the Japanese working class. This process allows us to rescue scrap waste from the cutting floor and transform it into something new, beautiful, and sustainable.
Our Moonrise Project team, including our CEO John, COO Lauren, and Moonrise Lead Russell, worked together to craft the piece—they drew inspiration from the rich history of Black Mountain College artists as well as our internal commitment to sustainability and craft.
John described this project as “a dream come true.” He’s had an interest in art since middle school and Black Mountain College since his own college days.
John, Lauren, and Russell each presented different ideas for the banner, and the final product ended up being a combination of all three ideas—a truly collaborative effort. The banner drew inspiration from R. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map concept, and the country names labeled on the piece call out the countries represented by artists who attended Black Mountain College.
The museum team gave our team some direction, and posed the question “What does citizenship mean in a global world?” with a Josef Albers quote as a response, which reads: “… to educate is to bring the totality of the individual to relationships with the totality of society and community.”
Global Mending was the perfect piece to kick off our new Moonrise Project—a team of experienced sewers will be working to help us meet our sustainability goals, such as going zero-waste by 2022. The team will be working on more American Boro and Rescue projects, in addition to brainstorming new initiatives.
We’re thrilled to be featured in the exhibition to showcase these sewing techniques and the creativity & artistry of our dedicated craftspeople.
I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD highlights historic works from BMC artists, paired with contemporary responses from global artists—the exhibition challenges us to reexamine our current understanding of citizenship.
Exhibition description from curators Kate Averett and Alice Sebrell:
Black Mountain College’s identity was formed by its uniquely global influences, with students, faculty, and staff hailing from over 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Mediterranean. To be a part of Black Mountain College was to be a citizen of the world. Historic works from BMC artists and the contemporary responses featured in this exhibition ask us to examine our preconceived ideas of citizenship and our responsibility to one another.
I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD runs until August 14, 2021, and Black Mountain College Museum offers in-person tours by appointment only. You can also enjoy a virtual tour of the exhibition from the comfort of your own home below.
Visit Black Mountain College Museum’s website to learn more about their programs, exhibitions and history.