OJMCHEs exhibition "Mending the Social Fabric" by textile artist Bonnie Meltzer has at its core a parachute with a 314-foot circumference that is encircled by 75 handkerchiefs embroidered with text that amplifies the mending motif. Mounted behind the parachute are textiles from across the globe. The parachute, a symbol of safety, has rips and tears and over the course of the exhibition interactive community building happens as visitors sit and mend the damage.
Meet the artist Bonnie Meltzer at the closing ceremony for the installation on Saturday, January 29 at 2:00 p.m. at the Oregon Jewish Museum, 724 NW Davis St. Arrive before 2:00 p.m. to see the exhibition and the last chance to mend the tears in the giant parachute, the metaphorical social fabric. At 2:00 p.m., volunteers and staff will disconnect some of the supporting wires and stretch out the parachute to fill the room.
“This interactive fabric installation is NOT one giant Kvetch about the unraveling of the social fabric, instead, it embraces action, hope, and healing,” said Meltzer. “People are the warp of the social fabric; Our actions are the weft threads that turn it into cloth.”
"Mending the Social Fabric", made specifically for OJMCHE, is guided by the Jewish principle “Tikkun Olam,” which means “repair the world”. Originally to open in October 2020, the emphasis was to have been on citizen action, voting, and immigration. As the terrible events of 2020 unfolded and the exhibit date was moved to 2021, the exhibition’s vision was refocused and expanded. Additional themes of Covid 19, social justice, and safety nets were woven into the installation.
“The very act of gathering together as a community to sew on a giant parachute will help mend the isolation and pain so many have felt in the last year,” said Meltzer.
Vaccination card required to enter.