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Sewing Forgiveness

As if it was not exciting enough to be traversing along Ravenswood Avenue during the neighborhood Art Walk in the crisp air and warm sun of autumn last Sunday! Add to that the pleasure of running into the display of Cathi Schwalbe outside the Lill Street Art Center (Chicago)!

Cathi Schwalbe: Sewing Forgiveness
Named as one of the featured artists during Chicago Artists Month (October 2014), Cathi's performance piece, "Sewing Forgiveness: City of Chicago" will appear in a number of venues around the city. What a delight she is...taking in everything in her environment with her generous and child-like enthusiasm, offering to sew a button on anyone who passes by!

Sewing a button on  this gentleman
I was immediately taken by her ~ the title of her exhibit, the display of old suitcases filled with vintage buttons.

Button supply in vintage suitcases
It didn't hurt that she was super-complimentary about my unique purse from Mexico and admired my jewelry!

My Mexican leather purse-fall colors!
The button I chose for Cathi to sew on.
A native of semi-rural Wisconsin, Cathi is a long-time recreational therapist, she was first drawn to art by "the beauty in agricultural building-I liked barns and bins and cribs-and the sculptural landscape. Social practice and art making equal a response to commodity and object making; social engagement much like the other half of my life as a recreation therapist, aims to engage for engagement's sake." ...and engage she does with fun, sharing and caring!

Photography by Brian Eaves
On her blog, Cathi describes her art work: "My art explores aging, agriculture, nature and science, the concepts of plenty and want, reuse, food systems, and being human through a variety of media including high-fired clay, artist books, events, growing, installation, found objects, fiber and cast metal.

Potable:  Feilds Progject, Rock Springs, Wisconsin 2013

Teosenite, Zea, Maiz, Corn, 2006
Teosinte...was a Fields Project Art Residency in Oregon, IL over 12 acres!

"Why corn? It is solidly Midwestern, like I am. I have found through the deep exploration of corn, more than its history and imagery, but the fundamentals of humanity itself."

Harvest Dinner: Lill Street Art Center, 2010. Each diner received a plate after dining! Photo by Schwalbe.
I am well aware of the healing aspects of crochet; and Cathi is on the same path with her intereactive performance pieces. She offers tranquility as she sews her gift of buttons onto strangers!


Dear Gwen,
Such a wonderful entry... and even more wonderful to meet you and your husband last weekend!

With many, many thanks! I am honored to have had your attention.

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