Fabric Designs by American Artists to Fund Rwanda Housing

Providence, RI (August16, 2012) - 14 artists, a print shop, a US based design firm and a women's association in Rwanda are joining in a project called "Stitchworks" to create patterns inspired by African designs. The collaboration represents a novel approach to design and production of prints, fabric, clothing, and ultimately, housing. Every other week for the next few months, the Tiny Showcase Print Shop will release a new pair of prints available for purchase. Proceeds from the project will raise funds for housing prototypes to be built in the association's town of Masoro in Rwanda.

In the first phase of StitchWorks, the Headlight Hotel Print Shop (theheadlight.com) and Tiny Showcase gallery in Providence ( http://tinyshowcase.com ) will print fabric patterns on paper for sale. Up to 80% of the sales will be donated to purchase building materials for the prototype housing construction in Masoro. In the second phase, select designs will be printed on fabric, some by the association women themselves. In the third phase, fashion designers based in Rwanda will create clothing especially for the fabric. At every phase of the project funds will be generated to complete the Masoro village.

Work by the contributing artists vary in medium, scale and aesthetics: Marie Lorenz carries passengers across the rivers of New York City on boats made by herself; Mat Brinkman co-founded Fort Thunder, an influential artists' collaborative in Providence, RI, and designs board games; Brian Chippendale is the author of four drawing monographs and the drummer of Lightning Bolt; and Melissa Brown's shimmering paintings on large aluminum sheets depict industrial wastelands. The StitchWorks project brings these wide ranging talents together for the benefit of Rwandan women.

The project was initiated by Jungil Hong, herself a visual artist in Providence, and Yutaka Sho of GA Collaborative, a non-profit group of design practitioners and educators. Since 2008, GAC has been working with Dushyigikirane, a women's association in the rural village of Masoro to construct 50 houses and a community center. The association's 600 members have conducted many economic and social projects since the 1994 genocide, including orphanages, a bakery and a micro-credit bank, empowering their members as well as the whole village. Their new project is to build houses for low-income members and fellow villagers.

The contributing artists are:

Roxanne V Bartlett
Hisham Bharoocha ( http://hishamb.net )
Mat Brinkman ( http://manifestedfestering.blogspot.com  )
Melissa Brown ( http://melissabrown.tv  )
Brian Chippendale ( http://brianchippendale.org  )
Jim Drain ( http://jimdrain.blogspot.com  )
Leif Goldberg ( http://explodeHEADview.org  )
Jung Hong ( http://jungilhong.com  )
Marie Lorenz ( http://marielorenz.com  )
Ara Peterson ( http://ratio3.org/artists/ara-peterson  )
Erin Rosenthal
Yutaka Sho ( http://gacollaborative.org )
Tao Urban ( http://taourban.com  )
Andrew Jeffrey Wright ( http://andrewjeffreywright.com  )

Yutaka Sho, Executive Secretary, GA Collaborative

The Tiny Showcase Print Shop  will be releasing a pair of prints every other week on http://tinyshowcase.com

The first pair (above) is by Melissa Brown of NYC and Ara Peterson of Providence, RI.