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Dorchester artists contribute to quilt that honors marathon victims

Posted by Patrick Rosso  May 16, 2013 03:45 PM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)

In Video: Clara Wainwright discusses the quilt and the inspiration behind it.

As the city of Boston and its residents recover after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon a month ago, a group of artists are pouring their emotions into a quilt.

Led by Cambridge based artist, Clara Wainwright, the "Mending Boston" quilt made a stop at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative Erick Jean Center for the Arts Wednesday, so the neighborhood’s quilters could add their own flair to the work of art.

“In the tradition of quilting people come together and sit around and talk and I think what happened those four or five days on the marathon day and after traumatized a lot of people,” said Clara Wainwright. “One of the ways to deal with those feelings is to sit around and talk with other people.”

A group of ten gathered at the Washington Street facility, stitching their own stories into the 12-foot by four-foot quilt.

“It’s a chance to express the love we have for Boston,” said Donna Stewartson, a Dorchester resident. “We’re upset with what happened, but we don’t want to internalize it. You have to pour the love you have in your heart into the materials.”

The design of the quilt is based on the route of the marathon, featuring the Charles River, Heartbreak Hill, and the finish line. The Dorchester quilters who participated added their own flair to the fabric, including the neighborhood’s classic triple-decker.

“Anything that helps the community is what we are trying to foster,” said Margery Buckingham, the education director for the Dorchester Arts Collaborative. “To be part of something that’s going to last and affect a lot of people, that’s always wonderful.”

Dorchester isn’t the last stop for the quilt as it tours the city, with individuals across Boston expected to add their own pieces of fabric.

Including stops at Codman Square’s Great Hall and the Gardner Museum, for the next month the quilt will travel to a number of communities affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings. Each corner will eventually be filled with the name and a design for the four people killed in the bombings and their aftermath.

“Collective art work shows that a lot of people feel passionate about something and what the thing is, is the city of Boston,” added Wainwright.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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