"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.
Retra-Tablo is a project I developed in Oaxaca in 2013-2014 as part of an artist residency. It was an educational residency this time. I wanted to use my educational background and approach a community of kids during this summer and some how tide in the aesthetics of their cultural traditions to the project i was going to develop. I knew little about the town's history or about the traditinal retablos they were rescuing by copying the old ones in the church's museum. I worked with a group of 25 kids ages 5 to 12 years old. I introduced to the kids the work of Chuck Close an American painter that works in segment pixels self portrait. we talked about color theory and i made them conscious about this idea of building up an images made of little images. The kids had to sketch 20 different design from the facade of the church, which i learned it was inspired by the town's lost hand embroider tradition.
Since one of my purposes is to make people conscious through my work about the old tradition of textile and women's history i decided i was going to contact one of the few ladies that still was embroidery. The kids started to add color to their RETRATABLOS, retratos + retablos.
Later the goal was to rescue as many kind of hand embroider stitching as it was possible and had local artisian embroiders reinterpret the kids work into textile.
RETABLOS. Unification Series
The principle of the unification of opposites, the nature of enlightenment; the potential for the new paradigm of spiritual awakening; the practical benefits of what we call processing, which is how we apply the principles to our daily lives; and inviting grace into our lives
RETRA-TABLOS. Museo Textil Oaxaca.
Interview with tv channel about Retra-Tablos