Queerlective is a very strong advocate for community art pieces. We really believe art is a fantastic tool for engaging community, and we believe art that encourages participation from the community is a great example of how art can bring people together. When we have artists that approach us with projects that are meant to share the stories of our community through contributing to a community art piece, we are always eager to support!
This is why we are proud to be a sponsor of The Abortion Quilt Project by local artist Heather Stockwell. This dynamic community mosaic harnessed the power of art to raise awareness about safe abortion access and reproductive rights. Guiding this impactful endeavor Heather, also operating as Full Circle Studios, has artfully woven together a space where stories can be shared and dialogue flourishes on a topic often shrouded in stigma.
Heather journey with the quilt was sparked by a desire to propagate a movement initiated by Seattle Mosaic Arts. "I was inspired by reading about the project which began in Seattle WA. They wanted to see the project spread throughout the country. So, I reached out to find out more and they sent the instructions. After that, I began talking with local organizations in NH to see if we could makesomething happen." Fueled by the threat to reproductive rights after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and her personal experiences, Heather recognized the urgency of cultivating conversations around abortion and its indelible imprint on individuals' lives. Through art, she aimed to create a haven for honest dialogue, using creativity to heal, unite, and enlighten.
Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the progress of the quilt project has been nothing short of remarkable. The community's engagement has been a source of inspiration, punctuated by poignant moments that underscore the project's significance. Heather recalls the participation from a variety of groups, "There have been many touching moments! I've had some teary-eyed hugs and heartfelt 'Thank You's' from many folks. There have been a few intergenerational and extended families that stand out to me. It showed how abortion impacts everyone in a family. Many people had a real willingness to talk with me and other family members about their experiences with abortion and appreciated a space to talk about it." Tearful hugs and heartfelt gratitude have spotlighted the importance of providing a space where stories can be shared, acknowledged, and celebrated.
As the project continues to thrive, Heather envisions a future where the "Abortion Quilt" evolves into a catalyst for open conversations that break down the barriers surrounding abortion. Heather's commitment extends beyond the creation of mosaic pieces. She is currently completing two mosaic "Quilt" pieces, a gesture of gratitude to Queerlective and the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH for their support. Reproductive Freedom Fund will be auctioning off their quilt piece at an upcoming event. "The RFFNH Fundraiser, called "Can't Drag us Down" is on September 28th in Portsmouth where one will be up for auction," Heather shared. These mosaics will not only convey appreciation but also serve as instruments for raising funds and perpetuating the dialogue. Looking ahead, Heather's ambition includes launching the NH Healthcare Story Project, amplifying the voices of those who contributed to NH Abortion Mosaic Quilt Project.
And stay tuned for news on when Queerlective will be auctioning our piece!
You can follow Heather on her Instagram here:
Read Heather's full responses to our questions about the project below: