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Creating a safe space for artistic expression, I work to build a pro-active and supportive community for those on the edge.


women's shelter

Laying out colourful samples of textiles and threads on a table is a beautiful way to gather women. In a women’s shelter textiles are a natural entry to sharing stories of family and loss: a favourite jacket, a handmade summer dress, a soft toy. Over time the women were inspired to share their works and proudly proclaimed their creativity and agency in two public exhibitions.

the tenderloin
mending society

Since 2009 Michael Swaine’s Mending Society has built community through repair work. Tenderloin neighbours often take a chair and chat while we restore their clothing, fix their bedspreads, repair their curtains or stitch their beloved toys.

lava mae pop-up villages

As members of the Mending Society we regularly supported organizations including LAVA MAEx ( and the California College of the Arts 2019 Student Exhibition. In 2020 my energies were diverted into sewing masks for vulnerable street populations.

community exhibitions

For over four years we told stories while sipping on tea and sewing together new friendships. New skills were honed and plans made for upcoming exhibitions. Energized by their own creativity, each of the women wrote personal statements for their exhibitions giving inspirational insight into their creative processes.



By taking to the streets in protest or using “craftivism” as a tool to communicate, I actively engage in the political process. My art magnifies my voice in order to create a stronger bridge for understanding social issues.

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