"Art can impact the social context of family dislocations and can serve as a powerful tool in encouraging an open national dialogue about Zero Tolerance in our country"
So (sew) America Cares is a participatory social art project with a commitment to raise awareness about the lives of the children separated from their parents at the border. All the faces stitched together strengthen the very fabric of our own society.
In 2018 a Zero Tolerance immigration policy was announced, requiring that all families who cross the border shall not only be separated but also charged in federal court with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry.
This Project’s mission is to advocate for these children and to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to participate. Thread by thread, fiber by fiber, a participating community will increase its understanding of the circumstances of these children who never asked to be illegal aliens. The project consists of 10 different faces that will be repeated 100 times each to add 1000 faces. The faces had been laser etched on raw canvas to allow the participant to use any kind of thread, yarn, wool, fabric, paint etc. So (sew) America Cares has a plan: to "sew" them back, to never allow these children to be lost again, to create a quilt of 1000 faces representing a portion of these children.
We cannot allow these traumatized children to disappear and in time, be forgotten.People are encouraged to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid these drawings so as to symbolically recover these children’s faces and lives again.
So (sew) America Cares is an international call for people to participate and raise awareness as to the consequences of this immigration policy and its devastating effect on children. As citizen, artist, mother and a child that suffered being separated from my family for eight years, I am concerned about the hundreds of separated children across our country.
PECADOS Y MILAGROS
This Series is derived from a simple willingness to imagine a world less dreary. It is a world full of stories and superstitions, a world where fantastical creatures morph into symbols of different cultural beliefs. For instance, Nahuals are ordinary people that turn into animals under a full moon. In my fantastical world, I provide them with the opportunity to choose what they want to become rather than what their society expects them to be. A simple businessman can discover a creative way for reinvention by becoming a new life form that eschews the ennui of the everyday revealing instead a celebration of our human/animal instincts.
A horse or a mule can symbolize man as a workhorse, a man who "works like a mule" or it could instead symbolize travel and a prayer about a journey. A horse or a mule can symbolize a prayer or charm meant to overcome stuborness in oneself or in another. A sheep can represent the concept of togetherness, the fealty one feels for one's group or even family. The parable of the Good Shepherd comes to mind as well as the Agnus Dei as the Lamb of God. A sheep can be a charm to eradicate the servility of passive behavior in the face of negative peer pressure. The family dog becomes the symbol of loyalty and in some cases protection such as a sheep dog provides a herd. The pig can symbolize nourishment such as in "bringing home the bacon" or alternately, a pig can symbolize gluttony.The Native American culture features many customs incorporating votive offerings, talismans, and amulets which are often referred to as milagros. So too with the Afro-Brazilian culture where milagros are primarily amulets and talismans. They are used as prayer offerings to bring the nahual the bird or animal reflective of his or her personal spirit, the animistic alter-ego.Milagros as votive offerings accompanied the Spanish into the New World. Its use and prevalence is most noticeable in Mexico where entire altars are coated with tiny silver milagrosand where statues of saints are literally festooned with them. In Christian belief, the nahual has been replaced by a guardian angel. It is believed that the moment a child is born an animal comes into the world simultaneously to accompany and protect the human. As the child grows there is the natural instinct to imitate the animal; a kinship forms. Thus an individual may be aggressive or passive, nervous or calm, shy or outgoing, flamboyant or passive, serious, graceful, or even clumbsy - all depending on the nature of the animal spirit. Because of Christianity’s skepticism about the veneration of animals in prehispanic cultures, the images of animals were banned.