Wrappin’ and Rollin’


Reinterpreted “Starry Night”

A Big Thank You to Topeka!  Over 100 individuals came to help out with Seams: Like Van Gogh, the  community outreach art project initiated by Sabatini Gallery.  Many more donated the clothing that was used for “painting” this large-scale mural.  Among those creating the mural were artists, musicians, self-titled “non-artists”, worker “bees” and sideline supporter, young and old.

One of the impacts of this type of art project is building ties to community.  It is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in the arts.   People come together who might not otherwise have contact with each other. Community art builds individual social networks along with social capitol to connect people by getting involved in working with local nonprofits.

Some folks sorted clothing by colors and some wrapped the individual pieces into components to re-create the expressive paint strokes that Vincent Van Gogh used.  Participants connected these paint strokes into components of the larger image and some wove them onto the mural itself.

Community art provides an opportunity for individual expression as well as working with others.  There are so many individual touches in this mural such as buttons and particular sparkly fabrics that a participant chose.  Be sure to get in close and take a look at the details.

The Seams project promoted awareness of those in our community that need help.  We are lending a hand to our neighbors by providing winter clothing.   Volunteerism improves our health!  Studies show that volunteering relieves stress.

We sure did laugh a lot!  We shared an enjoyment of all the above and just getting to know each other.

Betsy is the associate curator and museum educator at the Sabatini Gallery. She has an MFA from the University of Missouri with a major in Fibers. Betsy has taught art classes at UMKC, Kansas City Art Institute and Washburn University. As an artist, her work is sculptural fibers and focuses on ecological concerns such as the preservation of Kansas prairies in the Flint Hills.