Borders Are Meant to Be Crossed

Borders Are Meant to Be Crossed is part of States of Emergenc(y)e. Through embroidered and cross-stitched images and words, the artist transforms government-issued emergency blankets given to detained immigrants into immigrant and refugee advocacy messages. While this piece was handcrafted by the artist, States of Emergenc(y)e is participatory: the artist provides textile arts instruction to adults and teenagers who craft their own immigrant advocacy messages. Collecting these textile pieces, the artist adds her own handiwork and stitches them onto emergency blankets, transforming the flimsy blankets into objects imbued with care to be worn in public protests.

Iviva Olenick is a Brooklyn-born and based artist working at the intersection of textile history, agriculture, science and handcrafts, and oral histories. She has a BA in French Language and Literature/Psychology from Binghamton University and an AAS in Textile/Surface Design from FIT. She has exhibited at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, NYC; the Center for Book Arts, NYC; Old Stone House and Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Design Atlanta; and Muriel Guepin Gallery, NYC, among other venues. Iviva’s work is in the Schwartz Art Collection of the Harvard Business School; Brooklyn Museum Library; Newark Public Library; and private collections around the world. Her work has been published in The Nation and reviewed in The New York Times and Hyperallergic

Exhibition Views

Image of a person draping a tapestry around their shoulders
Borders are meant to be crossed_IvivaOlenick_2019
Image of an embroidered textile with a metallic emergency blanket sewn on either side of the textile
Borders are Meant to Be Crossed 2019
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