Displaced: Refugee Blanket

I’m thrilled to tell you that my tapestry, Displaced: Refugee Blanket was accepted to Small Tapestry International 6: Beyond the Edge. This show is the American Tapestry Alliance’s international small-format juried tapestry show. The juror was Jane Kidd, an artist I greatly admire. Getting into the show was a very sweet victory.

Rebecca Mezoff, Displaced: Refugee Blanket, 10 x 10 x 5.5 inches, hand-dyed wool, cotton

And if that wasn’t thrilling enough, a day later I received another email from the co-chair of the show telling me that my piece had won the First Place Teitelbaum Award. Whoo hoo!*

I had the idea for the piece last summer. I was watching a movie by Ai WeiWei called Human Flow. It is a film about the worldwide migration and refugee crisis. The movie shows migrants all over the world walking, living in camps, getting off boats, and struggling to survive. In many of the scenes, blankets are given to people as they arrive on new shores. Many of the blankets in the movie were light gray, though there is one gorgeous scene with gold emergency blankets flapping in the wind. The movie is a stark contrast of incredible scenery and beautiful cinematography and jumpy, disjointed footage of people struggling to find their way. Many of these migrant crises are created at least in part by the United States. My tapestry was a statement about the everyday nature of a blanket, the story that such a piece of cloth can witness, and the responsibility our nation bears in this misery. There are red lines like footpaths woven throughout the piece and hidden in the folds.

This piece is very different from my usual work, and that surprised me a little bit. I day-dreamed the whole thing into existence in the space of a couple days. I had to dye some yarn for the gray gradation and then I wove it all in a week.

The show opens in May in Louisiana and moves to Illinois in September.

May 27–July 20, 2019
Orville J. Hanchey Gallery
Northwestern State University
75 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
Opening Reception: July 1, 2019, 5–7 pm

September 6 – October 12, 2019
Augustana Teaching Museum of Art
Augustana College
639 38th St
Rock Island, IL 61201
Opening Reception: September 6, 2019, 5–7 pm

You can find the complete list of accepted artists HERE.

Rebecca Mezoff, Displaced: Refugee Blanket (detail), tapestry in process

*Truth be told, the scene from A Christmas Story with the leg lamp flashed through my head for days. Except for me, this really is a major award. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, THIS will sort you out.