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Exhibition: "Healing Circles - Mandalas for Marinke" with Kathryn Vercillo & Threadwinners

  • Exhibition period: 5 - 26 November 2017 (open on event days and by appointment)

Additional programming: 

  • Brunch opening reception: Sunday, November 5th, 11am-2pm
  • Open Studio: Friday, November 10th, 12pm-5pm
  • Crochet Workshop: Saturday, November 18th, 11am-2pm
  • Healing Circles Night: Saturday, November 18th, 5pm-9pm


Grab Bag Studio is proud to present Healing Circles, the first physical iteration for 'Mandalas for Marinke', an online project that was organized by San Francisco-based crafter and writer Kathryn Vercillo to raise awareness about mental illness. Vercillo and Threadwinners (Alyssa Arney and Liz Flynn) showcase crocheted mandalas by hundreds of crafters nationwide to further raise public awareness about suicide, depression and other mental health issues. 


Additional programming: 

 An open studio, a crochet workshop, a performance, artist talks and a book launch will accompany the exhibition. 

Sunday, November 5th (11am-2pm) Brunch Opening: Grab Bag Studio invites you to a public and free brunch as we celebrate the opening of our new exhibition!

Friday, Nov. 10th (12-5pm): “Open Studio”: Natalie Mik from Grab Bag Studio will meet with you to look at the Healing Circles exhibition. The open studio is a casual and free form of meeting, appreciating art, cultural exchange, conversations, encouragement, and freedom of expression. Your creative expressions and remnants of our conversations can be interpreted into performance scores for the Healing Circle’s performance.

Saturday, November 18th (11am-2pm): “Crochet Workshop”: This is a hands-on crochet workshop led by Threadwinners who has been investigating what it means to be a crocheter in the modern art world by creating work that promotes community activation, accessibility and the therapeutic process. Crochet and knitting circles have existed for centuries, mostly undocumented, amongst groups of (mainly) women. Wives, daughters, family members, and friends have continuously gathered in these informal gatherings to create an ephemeral dialogue; weaving words into the work created by their hands. Today, the act of creating through crochet is a therapeutic, cathartic act for many people of all identities. Crochet and knitting circles, where people come together to work on individual or collective fiber projects, still remain a popular and vibrant part of the fiber art community. These communal gatherings of friends, acquaintances, and sometimes strangers add another layer of healing and self-reflection to the act of crafting for many. Workshop participants learn the technical basics of working in the round and leave with the beginnings of your own crochet mandala masterpiece. All materials will be provided.

Saturday, November 18th (5-9pm): “Healing Circles Night”: For the Healing Circles Night, Grab Bag Studio transforms into a lounge environment with cozy, crocheted pillow, rug and lamp stations for visitors to mingle, meditate or rest. Enjoy artist talks, a Q&A and a book launch. A performance by Natalie Mik in collaboration with Geneva West and Akari Takahashi using movement scores collected from conversations with the audience will be presented throughout the night. Visitors can bring their hooks or needles, sit down and spend a comfortable time crocheting and knitting. This is a wonderful chance to connect with each other and learn about the Mandalas for Marinke Project.

Learn more about the Mandalas for Marinke Project here -->

About Threadwinners: Threadwinners is the moniker for the crochet collaborative comprised of Liz Flynn and Alyssa Arney. They began working together in 2013 as art museum interns and started making art as Threadwinners in 2016. Since then, Threadwinners has been investigating what it means to be a crocheter in the modern art world and how community activation, accessibility and the therapeutic process of making contribute to the democratization of art. Threadwinners, a play on the concept of the typically masculine term “breadwinner,” aim to subvert the patriarchy and status quo through the vehicle of crochet. They examine American and pop culture, the body, psychology, nature, gender roles, and femininity in their work. Flynn has an Art History BA from University of California, Riverside and works in LA. Arney has a Printmaking BFA from the John Herron School of Art and Design-IUPUI and works in Orange County.

healing circles threadwinners