Threading hope for African grandmothers

Working with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the City of Waterloo Museum and Omas Siskona of Kitchener –Waterloo have launched a Textile Art Exhibit & Auction in support of the Stephen Lewis Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The foundation aims to connect grassroots communities across the African continent by providing education, HIV prevention counselling, distribution of food, medication, and other necessities to help care for the sick and vulnerable in their communities, and most importantly to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic at the community level.

The Omas Siskona, with their long-standing history of quilting and fibre art, began to invite local Kitchener–Waterloo artists to craft quilts that were inspired by the vision of these communities, as well as to express and celebrate their successes. 

The Waterloo Museum, located in Conestoga Mall, is currently featuring the pieces. The quilts featured in the museum each vary vastly, some with intricate beadwork, metals, and other natural embellishments, as well as a mismatch of bold and vibrant patterns. Each quilt has a story featured alongside it, and all quilts feature depictions of day-to-day life and aim to spread a message of hope, resilience, and a feeling of community.

Also featured in the exhibit are a variety of other handmade pieces including jewelry, clothing, tools, masks, pots, and other artifacts. 

The final auction will take place May 2015 at the Clay and Glass Gallery and all proceeds will be directed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The City of Waterloo Museum, at Conestoga Mall (near the food court) is open Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with additional hours during July and August — Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. This exhibit is open until Sept. 26, 2014. Admission is free.


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