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Threading compassion through end-of-life tapestries

Projects | November 1, 2013 | By:

Aging and death conjure images grey and grim, steeped in sadness. Vermont artist Deidre Scherer brings color, texture and dignity to her life-sized thread-on-fabric depictions of end-stage illness, on exhibit Sept. 23 through Nov. 18 at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minn. “Her work reminds the viewer that knowing we will die is what brings meaning to the act of living,” says Cindi Beth Johnson, director of United’s Community Programming in the Arts, Religion and Spirituality.

Scherer creates realistic portraits of aging, ill or dying people, “painting” with fabric and “drawing” with a scissors and sewing machine. She is in residence during her exhibition, hosting presentations on community quilting (“using fabric to speak the unspeakable”), drawing with scissors and drawing from life, as well as programs on care of the aging and adding an affirming dimension to the end-of-life process through art. Her work has appeared at more than 260 exhibitions worldwide, as well as in the documentary film “Holding Our Own,” complete with scenes from the museum opening of her “Surrounded by Family and Friends” series at Hebrew Union College Museum. See more of Scherer’s striking and memorable works at her website.

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