Social Fabric: Textiles and Contemporary Issues

Curated by Francine Weiss, Ph.D. and Megan Horn

December 3, 2022 - June 11, 2023

Cushing & Morris Galleries

From the cradle to the grave, human beings are wrapped in, and surrounded by textiles. What people make to clothe, protect, and decorate themselves and their spaces, tells us about their cultures, eras, identities, families, and lives. This exhibition brings together a diverse array of contemporary textile artists who are weavers, sculptors, quiltmakers, and visionaries to examine the complex issues of our time. Together, their practices demonstrate and reimagine the expressive and social functions of textiles. Some of the themes include: climate change and sustainability, adaptation and reuse, war and survival, human rights and social justice, the reclamation of history, the reaffirmation and celebration of communities, and gender, ethnic, and racial identities.

The artists in this exhibition take on the challenges of a variety of materials, pushing textiles in new directions and seeing how far they can go. Through textiles, they inspire new conversations about contemporary issues.

Featured artists and organizations include: AIDS Quilt RI, Jim Arendt, Judy Chicago and International Honor Quilt artists, Elizabeth Duffy, Brooke Erin Goldstein, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Letitia Huckaby, Tamara Kostianovsky, Jesse Krimes, Dinh Q. Lê, Aubrey Longley-Cook, Veronica Mays, the National AIDS Memorial, L. J. Roberts, Alison Saar, Marie Watt, Emma Welty, and Nafis M. White.


Purchase the Exhibition Catalog – Social Fabric: Textiles & Contemporary Issues

Exhibition Catalog by Dr. Francine Weiss and Meghan Horn with contributions by Lisa Gail Collins, Ph.D. and Jonthan Frederick Walz, Ph.D.

96 Pages (2023) . $40 + $5 Flat Rate Shipping.


Exhibition Resources

Explore exhibition content more deeply through articles, books, films, glossaries, and more, compiled to encourage dialogue and learning.

Exhibition Programming

Social Fabric Virtual Artists Talk

James Arendt, Letitia Huckaby, Aubrey Longley-Cook, Tamara Kostianovsky in conversation with co-curators Megan Horn and Francine Weiss.