Chicago-based artist Aram Han Sifuentes uses needle and thread as tools to examine immigration, citizenship, race, and craft, drawing on both personal experience and shared cultural identity. Opening in March, Han Sifuentes’ project, The Protest Banner Lending Library, will transform the gallery into a space for visitors to learn skills needed to make their own banners, a communal sewing space celebrating and supporting each other’s voices, and a place where people can check out handmade banners to use in protests outside of gallery walls. Throughout the exhibition the banners can be made, used in a protest, returned to the library, and then taken by someone else to a different protest—in turn, carrying the histories of the hands that made and held them, and the spaces they activate and travel between. Throughout the run of the exhibition, visitors can view the growing library of completed and in-progress handmade banners during open hours. At the close of the exhibition banners made on campus will be accessioned into the collection of the IC Library.
Sifuentes’s work has been exhibited and performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago; Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum, Seoul, South Korea; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia; and the Design Museum, London, U.K., among others.