Threading the Needle is presented as an homage
to the tailoring trade which provided employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for many immigrants of different cultural
backgrounds, including Jews, African-Americans, Italians and Hispanics. The exhibit will feature the work of six artists:
Paula Borenstein, Eleta Caldwell, Larry Dell,
Jody Leight, Joanne Leone, and Diane Savona.
Part of the exhibit will include the replica of a tailor shop circa 1960e, inspired by Paula
Borenstein's memories of her mother's tailor shop in Newark. Eleta Caldwell will display creation
of dolls, influenced by her older sister's work as a seamstress. Larry Dell will present sculptures made
of fabric and metal, inspired by his father who worked in the NYC garment center as a knitting machine mechanic for most of
his working life. Joanne Leone will present her paintings, memorializing the work of several generation of
family members including her maternal grandfather who worked as tailor, her grandmother who was a milliner, and her paternal
grandmother who turned collars and repaired shirts during the Great Depression. Jody Leight will present
her quilt work which combines traditional and modern elements to reflect on the status of women in the needle trades. Diane
Savona will display artifacts of past generations found in the immigrant community of Passaic: doilies, darning
eggs and pincushions, presenting them as unearthed specimens, newly fossilized in cloth. Collectively, these artists will
challenge viewers perceptions of our textile heritage.