Thursday, October 25, 2012

urban guerilla boro

it is always inspirational when we meet someone finding new ways to connect their art to the community in which they live. michael swaine is one such artist. i did not run into him on any of my forays into san francisco, but hope to some day. i would love to spend some time chatting with him and hearing more about his "performance art" project.

here is a man who is a potter/sculptor by trade (teaches at the san francisco art institute) who reached out into another medium and found a way to express it in a new and elevating way. he designed and built his own mobile sewing station after finding an old treadle machine in the trash. has spent the past couple of years wandering around one of the roughest neighborhoods of san francisco known as the tenderloin, and mends local residents' clothing. but he doesn't stop there. he connects with the residents in meaningful ways. talking with them about life. about mending. or sometimes just about the weather. whatever they need to talk about while he treadles boro patches and mends seams and rifts in their clothes...and, quite possibly, in their lives through his outreach and warmth.

between his mobile forays of urban guerilla boro, michael is currently building the free mending library in the tenderloin area at 509 ellis. it is a place to borrow thread and sewing machines and talk about life.

i wonder what other ways we can connect with our community through our art besides the more traditional gallery?



  1. Oh dear You. here we are, a sunday night all
    full of Concern for people, for little goat
    boys, for all manner of stuff and i think, wonder what Joe is doing????

    FIND THIS. bless you. really. Bless You.
    and...what do we make of watching this in our
    own little world theater????????????????????

  2. This is fabulous!!!! My son lives in San Francisco and after the holidays I want to go see him and what fun it would be to look for this incredible artist!
    So fascinating. Love it! You always share the most interesting people/things.
    : )