The materials messaging in “Social Fabric: Textiles and Contemporary Issues,” on view through June 11 in the Cushing and Morris Galleries at the Newport Art Museum, is certainly of the moment and contextualized by the inclusion of excerpts from the National Aids Quilt and work from Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party,” her 1970s landmark installation that remains just as significant today as an activist’s expression of contemporary art.
Many of the artists included in this show have used the soft hominess of quilt-making to address society’s ills. In chief curator Francine Weiss’ and co-curator Megan Horn’s carefully chosen artist list for this exhibition, they’ve built an interesting and insightful conversation about gender, sexual bias, equality, racism and incarceration.
Recently, after visiting the show on two occasions, Artscope Magazine’s Suzanne Volmer exchanged questions about the exhibition with co-curator Megan Horn:
SUZANNE VOLMER (SV): ARE YOU AND FRANCINE THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND “SOCIAL FABRIC” AS AN EXHIBITION, OR DID THE CONCEPT COME TO YOU AS AN ALREADY SHAPED IDEA?
MEGAN HORN (MH): The concept behind this exhibition was one Francine had originally had for a quilt or textile show that in our planning meetings shifted to focus on contemporary artists. In planning the exhibition, we decided on artists whose work in textiles takes on social issues.