Community mural featuring Harriet Tubman to debut May 4

The Schweinfurth Art Center will celebrate the installation a 32-foot wide crocheted mural of Harriet Tubman on the front of the Art Center on Thursday, May 4, from 6-8pm. Over 150 community volunteers have created the mural by crocheting 2ft x 2ft squares under the direction of visiting artist, Olek. The event is free and open to the public.

The mural is part of the Love Across the USA crochet project by Olek, an internationally recognized artist whose work amplifies the voices of women. Olek’s goal is to create a large-scale mural in every state, celebrating strong female figures in U.S. history. For the state of New York, Olek is featuring two women: Harriet Tubman in Auburn, and Susan B. Anthony in Rochester.

Auburn will be one of the first cities in the country to complete the project.

The installation of the mural will begin in the morning May 4. Olek will be unrolling the mural from the roof of the Art Center, and a film-maker will be on site, documenting the event in the afternoon. Students from Genesee Elementary will perform at 6:15 p.m., and the Auburn Community Chorus will perform at 6:30 p.m. Olek will be on hand to talk about the project. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Schweinfurth Art Center hosted three free workshops in March where Olek taught participants how to crochet and distributed instructions. The mural was divided into 2ft x 2ft square patterns that volunteers took home to complete. People of all skill levels and backgrounds participated.

Olek will return to Auburn to connect the squares a few days before the installation, with the assistance of her team and local volunteers.

This project was made possible by Olek, sponsorship from the Senator John A. DeFrancisco Arts in Cayuga County Program, Red Heart Yarn, the Hilton Garden Inn, Jesse Kline, Jamie Rathbone, the Schweinfurth Art Center Board of Trustees, and the 150 volunteers who worked created the squares for the mural.

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