I am thrilled to announce that the mandalas created by the crochet community for the Mandalas for Marinke project will be on exhibit soon. It was amazing to me to see each of the mandalas as they were submitted and then to see them growing together as a big group that shows off the work, efforts, talent and love of so many people from around the world. It is a dream come true to finally have a space where others will also be able to see them as a group. If you aren’t familiar with the project, it was created in honor of the work of Marinke Slump, a crochet designer who died by suicide in 2015. It was a big online project to raise awareness about depression and suicide; take time to read through some of the posts here.
Healing Circles: Mandalas for Marinke
I have been so lucky to receive support for this project from Alyssa and Liz of crochet artist team Threadwinners who bring with them skills in curating shows as well as teaching crochet to others. The first version of this installation, Healing Circles: Mandalas for Marinke, will be at Grab Bag Studio in the month of November 2017, opening on 11/5 and closing on 11/26. People can request to make an appointment to see the show up until closing, and you will find specific event dates below.
Events (Important Dates)
Some of the crochet mandalas will be on display in the front window of Grab Bag Studio for people to see at any time of day or night; the windows will be lit so come anytime.
Join Threadwinners for the opening reception on Sunday, November 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch will be served in the gallery amongst the crochet pieces. Admission is free; donations are encouraged. This reception offers a great opportunity for visitors to not only see the mandalas up close but to get a chance to interact with them – touching them and experiencing the color therapy and visual healing power they emanate. You are also welcome to bring your projects to work on. You are invited to connect with others in a friendly environment, free from judgment and social pressures, or keep to yourself if you prefer and just work on your knitting / crochet in the coziness of this healing space. Note that I will unfortunately be unable to attend this opening reception.
Artist Talk and Workshop
Join me along with Threadwinners on November 18th for a workshop and talk called Spinning Yarns: A Dialogue Through the Vehicle of Crochet. I will be speaking about the power of narrative and how we can use craft to facilitate sharing narrative as individuals and communities. Threadwinners will then lead a simple crochet mandala workshop where you can learn the craft hands-on and see how it helps with healing. This talk and workshop will be conducted as a safe space for sharing, compassion, acceptance, and potential healing. There will be two parts to this day and you are invited to attend one or both parts:
- 11 am -1 pm: Morning mandala workshop with brief artist talk, with tables and chairs set up to facilitate learning how to crochet a mandala
- 4 pm – closing: We will be setting up several small areas where people can gather in cozy circles, seated on mandala rugs and pillows, to crochet/ meditate/ mingle/ relax. I will give another brief talk and we will have some discussion questions to read and reflect upon. There will be open spaces for people who wish to share their experiences in a safe setting. People who are more comfortably sharing in writing will have a space to do so, with the option to be anonymous. People can participate to whatever degree feels right with zero pressure or judgment.
Grab Bag Studio
“Grab Bag Studio is a shared studio and an artist collective in Long Beach, California.” It is a place that celebrates community and encourages collective well-being. This makes it the perfect place to launch the Mandalas for Marinke art exhibit. The many people from around the world who participated in this project come from so many different backgrounds, cultures, belief systems and personal ideologies. What we have in common is that we believe in the individual and collective benefits of crochet and wanted to come together to raise awareness about depression / suicide using our talents with the craft.
Mandalas for Marinke Art Book
I know that some of you are not going to be able to visit Southern California to see this show in November. There will be other opportunities to see the mandalas in person, including a California show in early 2018. However, the best way to see the majority of them is in the upcoming Mandalas for Marinke Art Book. Signed copies of this book will be on sale at the installation. The book will be available for sale through Amazon beginning November 2017. All mandalas can also be seen online here; each post includes many more photos than are available in the book along with the stories and thoughts people shared and information to raise awareness about depression.