Gallery 263 is excited to present our latest Exhibition Proposal Series show, #stitchers. This exhibition features six women artists from around the world who met on the social media platform Instagram. In their practices, the artists investigate what it means to elevate the traditional medium of hand embroidery in the context of the fine arts community, and how their art can be accessible and inspire others on social media. Through the exploration of incorporating mixed media elements into their embroidery and the act of depicting deeply personal narratives — such as gender assumptions, family stories, and more — these artists are challenging the notion of embroidery as a pastime craft.
Not all of the artists have met in person. Instead, they utilize Instagram to engage with each other and the larger embroidery community. Artist Courtney Sandborn of Dover, NH mentored artist Jennifer Lamontagne of Quincy, MA in both embroidery and painting during their time at the University of New Hampshire. Years later, Jennifer returned to embroidery and began posting her experiments on Instagram. She discovered Emily Wright of Manchester, England, Meri Sawatzky of Victoria, BC, Canada, and Trisha Danforth of Worcester, MA through hashtags while looking for unique ways people were working with embroidery, and began engaging with them through posts, stories, and direct messages. Later, Trisha Danforth introduced Jennifer to Hannah Ferrante of Grafton, MA, also through Instagram. Inspired by their art and seeing how their work complements each other, Jennifer connected all five stitchers to propose and curate this show.
Jennifer Lamontagne, Trisha Danforth, Meri Sawatzky, and Emily Wright explore abstract shapes, texture, and color. Their embroideries draw inspiration from nature and personal memories. Courtney Sanborn and Hannah Ferrante develop narrative imagery of human figures and focus on storytelling.