The Rhythmic Art of Thread

Curated by Harlem Needle Arts, with support from NYC Parks’ Ebony Society

Featured Artists:
Michael A. Cummings, Shimoda Emanuel, Ife Felix, Laura R. Gadson, Jacqueline Johnson, Jackquelynn Jones, Dindga McCannon, Lisa Shepard Stewart, and 2016 Teen Curators of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Opening Reception
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 // 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Exhibit Details
Jan. 12–Feb. 24, 2017
The Arsenal Gallery
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Ave. at 64th Street, Third Floor
Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Closed holidays // Free admission

For more information, call (212) 360-8163  or visit

For accessibility information, contact Jennifer Lantzas by Jan. 8 at (212) 360-8163 or

The exhibition examines the constructs of contemporary life and the influences of the African aesthetic, as artists create through the use of threads.

The rhythm of creating intricate designs, use of bold colors and patterns, pays homage to the influences of family traditions and customs that date back centuries. Africans of the Diaspora construct for ceremonial and utilitarian artifacts made through the use of threads, with techniques that mirror what we know today as quilting, weaving, appliqué, felting and fiber fusion.

The exhibit showcases the diversity of artists and themes related to indigenous culture, spirituality, historical events, icons and inspiration.

“Harlem Needle Arts continuously elevates the narrative of fiber, textile and needle art as a continuum of cultural art and techniques which traditionally served as utilitarian and ceremonial artifacts. The Rhythm Art of Thread creates a platform for artistic inclusion as the works reimagine the world of needle arts. The artists are griots using thread as their base medium and their collective work represents the intersection of the invisible through image, the interpretation of oral history, and the voice of our youth.  The exhibitions shreds light on the contemporary nature of the art forms that have a life span representing centuries of creating through needle arts and share diverse expressions of contemporary, folk and abstract art ” says Michelle Bishop, curator and executive director of Harlem Needle Arts. 


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