India Fest reception, open house Feb. 19 at Womanspace
From press release
Womanspace hosts the Jhoole Weavers art exhibit in Gallery 3 in the New Dimensions art building on their campus, located a half-mile west of Rock Valley College at 3333 Maria Linden Drive, in Rockford. The exhibit runs through March 31, with a special India Fest reception and open house scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m., Feb. 19.
Regular exhibit hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., plus evenings and weekends when programs are scheduled. For more information, visit www.womanspace-rockford.org or call (815) 877-0118.
Jhoole Weavers features photography by Rockford native Hannah Warren of the Jhoole Weaver’s Cooperative, as well as gorgeous textiles produced by them. Jhoole (pronounced ju-LAY) is a branch of a local grassroots NGO, Chetanya Sewa, which supports women’s development, elderly care, the eradication of child labor, and the promotion of health in scheduled caste and tribal villages. Jhoole’s fair-trade initiatives help fund Chetanya Sewa’s social programs and promotes the upward mobility of skilled female artisans, as well as the female laborers (mazdur) stuck at the bottom of the supply chain.
Hannah Warren says: “Originally, I went to Maheshwar in order to pursue a photography project funded by the Royal Society of Asian Affairs’ Sir Peter Holmes Memorial Award. I was surprised to find that none of the weavers could even afford to own the exquisite saris that they weave. Instead, middlemen provide them with expensive raw materials that they transform into beautiful saris in return for minimal wages. Instead of abandoning the project, I gave the weavers funds to purchase their own materials in order to take creative control of their products by personally choosing colors and designs. When they put on the very first saris they had ever designed for themselves, I was blown away: they looked so beautiful and proud. I began small by assisting the four weavers I had photographed in producing scarves to sell at fair trade stores. We now employ over a hundred women.”
Jhoole offers recycled denim skirts, dresses, crushed cotton scarves, custom embroidered dresses and table runners. Proceeds from purchases of photographs, cards and fabrics will benefit both Jhoole and Womanspace.
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