December Exhibition: Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse by Mary McEwen December 2nd-29th
Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse, by Mary McEwen
Opening Reception: Friday, December 2nd | 4-7 pm
On Friday, December 2nd from 4-7 pm the City Museum will host an opening reception for fiber artist Mary McEwen’s new exhibition titled, Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse which features large-scale woven pieces created from locally sourced scrap textiles that would otherwise be headed to the dump.
A passing comment about local waste a few years ago planted a seed in Mary McEwen’s mind and that seed grew into the project that is Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse. While discussing ways waste can be diverted from Juneau’s dump, someone commented to McEwen about the lack of local textile recycling options.
“I wasn’t sure what textile recycling even meant and I stumbled down a rabbit hole of the types and of the history of textile recycling, from the high-tech (mechanical or chemical separation of fibers) to the low-tech (rag making), from local resale (thrift stores) to the ship-it-somewhere-else options,” says McEwen.
When McEwen learned that the proliferation of low-cost, low-quality clothing commonly referred to as “fast fashion” has thrift stores, donation centers, and neighborhood free boxes overflowing, she decided to do something about it.
“Not everything can be used and things often end up in the dump. Recent estimates give the Juneau dump about 20 years before it is full. The U.S. EPA reports about 9 million tons of clothing are landfilled in the U.S. annually which works out to about 60 pounds for every person. As a fiber artist, I wanted to explore whether it would be feasible to use textiles that would be otherwise headed to the dump as materials for creative works,” says McEwen.
McEwen chose to name her exhibition after a traditional style of rag rug called “Hit and Miss” that is woven from a grab bag of scraps in all different colors and materials. The title Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse acknowledges that McEwen’s project might be a hit, or it might be a miss. “I’m taking the angle that while this may not be a serious art, it may be a fun form of waste diversion. The cloth materials used in the pieces all come from Juneau. I’m referring to this as “locally-sourced garbage.”
Hit & Miss: Adventures in Textile Reuse will be on display at the City Museum from December 2nd through December 29th, 2022.