Fiber Arts Workshop Weaves New Hope

Local students join with Hope Horn Gallery for gallery talk, followed by spinning and weaving workshop. Final workshop to be offered on December 8.
Weaving loom used in Fiber Arts Workshop alongside Violet Oakley's painting "Weavers of New Hope" on loan to the Hope Horn Gallery from the Everhart Museum in Scranton
Weaving loom used in Fiber Arts Workshop alongside Violet Oakley's painting "Weavers of New Hope" on loan to the Hope Horn Gallery from the Everhart Museum in Scranton

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that provided women in this country with the right to vote. The step towards equality for women and the importance of women’s voices, ideas, and work is beautifully captured by painter Violet Oakley in her painting “Weavers of New Hope” currently on loan to the Hope Horn Gallery at The University of Scranton from the Everhart Museum. This painting is a part of a larger loan from the Everhart’s permanent collection comprised of artworks of and by women to the Hope Horn Gallery on campus for its recent exhibition “Women In Art: Selections From The Everhart Museum.”

This special exhibition, and its coincidence with this important anniversary, call attention to parallels between the world of the 1920’s, the world of artist Violet Oakley, and our own time now in 2020. In both times, the nation was facing impacts of a global pandemic and the waves of social change. This exhibition calls the viewer to reflect on the aspirations held by women of the 1920’s and consider how women today in the 2020’s are carrying ahead the work for equality. This bold spirit of strength is visibly embodied by the subject of Oakley’s painting, Ethel Davenport, who is both the subject of the painting as the weaver herself and a real-life friend of Oakley.

The painting creates an allegory that tells the story of weaving new hope into the lives of women, by working within the framework we are given and finding the creativity and possibilities within ourselves. It is with this goal of inspiring new hope that Hope Horn Gallery director Dr. Darlene Miller-Lanning Ph.D. is running special workshops for students in the Scranton Area. “Weaving New Hope: A Fiber Arts Workshop” offers student participants from grades 5 – 12 an opportunity to learn both the arts of spinning and weaving, along with the history and importance of this work through a discussion of Violet Oakley’s painting. This workshop was offered on November 9 to students from the University’s partner school McNichols Plaza Elementary and again on November 18 to middle and high school students participating in United Neighborhood Center’s “Leaders In Training” program.

Students from both partner organizations typically would come to campus to visit the Hope Horn Gallery and participate in hands-on workshops. Due to the coronavirus, this year, both the gallery visits and workshops took place via Zoom. Still, despite the physical distance, participating students were provided with materials and had the opportunity to spin their own yarn to then use in the weaving loom.  Students were able to create their own unique projects and to connect with the University in this virtual space.

The Hope Horn Gallery will offer one additional workshop open to community members on Tuesday, December 8 at 3 p.m. This workshop is limited to the first 15 participants to register. Registration and materials pickup is required. Register your student here



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