We feel extremely lucky and grateful to have been able to host Cozbi A. Cabrera as our Boro-Linc resident artist this season. Cozbi led our spring program attendees in heirloom doll-making workshops inspired by performances from Lincoln Center’s Jazz and Chamber Music orchestras.
From April to June community members explored questions of history, family and identity with Cozbi in a series of quilting workshops culminating in our Community Quilt.
“Our Lower East Side Quilt Making group ranged from pre-schoolers and their parents to seniors, all working to piece together a narrative quilt, tapping into their familial and social trees while exploring the power of narrative – that which knits, binds and is understood in community,” Cozbi told us.
Born in Brooklyn and trained at Parsons School of Design, Cozbi left her dream job as art director of SONY Music to “discover, create and share pockets of grace and beauty.” Her beautiful creations take many forms. She makes handmade collectible cloth dolls (Muñecas) in honor of her Honduran heritage, which have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart Living, and many U.S. networks. Cozbi also illustrates children’s books including Stitchin’ and Pullin’ A Gees Bend Quilt and Most Loved in All the World, which won a Christopher Award, given to works that represent the best of the human spirit. She authored and illustrated her newest title: My Hair Is A Garden (Albert Whitman) which comes out in 2018.
Cozbi’s heirloom dolls, paintings from her children’s books and our Community Quilt will be displayed in our latest exhibit, Threads That Bind, opening on July 13 and on view through August 25. You can read a poem inspired by the exhibit penned by Cozbi below, and please join us for the Opening Reception Thursday, July 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Manny Cantor Center to meet the artist. RSVP here.
The Idea of Place: The Lower East Side
There are some places that permit the memory
Of other places
The inhabitants bring in their cuffs, in their bags
Sights, sound, smells,
And relatives to join two by two
A refuge, escape
Settling in, arranging furniture and a few necessities
Others passing through
Their children playing in circles
The maps, the plans, the terror, the sanitization of
D e v e l o p m e n t
Scrubbing away at the edges of remembering
Laboring, laboring in this space
A few throw a pebble further to Long Island
In the bustle of day, a steady hum
Listen for it, though the fountain is dry
It whispers of those who lived it, built it, sowed into it
With generations of their seeds.
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