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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Artists on the Road Series - 'StitchBuffalo: Finding or Found? April 26

Dawne Hoeg, a lecturer in the Art and Design Department, will present the final Artists on the Road: Travel As a Source of Inspiration lecture for spring 2018, "StitchBuffalo: Finding or Found?," a discussion of how one idea became a journey, on Thursday, April 26, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Upton Hall 230.

Hoeg created StitchBuffalo in 2014. “I started to notice the change in the neighborhood, mostly with the women standing at the bus stops and on the sidewalks of the West Side,” Hoeg said. “They were beautifully dressed; I loved what they were wearing. So, I started StitchBuffalo as a platform to connect with these women, create community, and to share the common language of textiles arts that I knew must exist between us…I believe Buffalo was calling me to do this important work.”

Her “artist project” turned into an entirely volunteer-run 501(c)(3) organization with a brick-and-mortar presence at 1215 Niagara Street, where textile arts create opportunities for social inclusion and financial empowerment for refugee women. The stitching community today includes over 60 women from Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, and Angola. Stitching skills are taught in weekly workshops, and the women can take their work home to complete it. StitchBuffalo then sells the completed products. Each piece has the name of the woman who made it on the tag, and the woman gets the majority of the total sale.

“StitchBuffalo gives women who fall through the cracks an opportunity to develop community, to develop skill, to develop a whole life,” Hoeg said.

Hoeg grew up south of Boston, Massachusetts, on the coast. Her interests have always involved handwork of some kind. She earned her bachelor of science from RIT, where she studied packaging design, and then went on to earn a master of fine arts in fibers from UMass Dartmouth. "My great grandmother was a milliner and seamstress, my grandmother a seamstress, my mother and her five sisters are home sewers. It is in my DNA,” she said.

The Artists on the Road series is co-sponsored by the Art and Design Department and the International and Exchange Programs Office. For more information, please contact Carol Townsend, associate professor of design and coordinator of design foundations, 878-4986.

Submitted by: Carol A Townsend
Also appeared:
Thursday, April 26, 2018