Featherstone Center for the Arts opens its first exhibition of the summer this weekend with Rising Up! A Multicultural Celebration of Stitched Fine Art.

The show features a collection of paintings, sculptures, quilts and fiber arts, all united in their use of stitch. The 16 artists represented are all women, a coincidence guest curator Michele Beasley Maloney said was a happy accident. 

“When you have a museum it’s always nice to finally get the women on the walls,” Ms. Beasley Maloney said. “Women invented stitch to hold things together that they needed for domestic purposes.”

The exhibition opens in the Francine Kelly Gallery on June 23 and runs through July 21. There will be a reception on June 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Assistant curator Gabriella Rice, left, and curator Michele Maloney hold works by Earamichia Brown. — Jeanna Shepard

Ms. Beasley Maloney said she focused on promoting diversity when inviting artists to display their work. Many of the artists are women-of-color and represent various countries. 

“I’m bringing everyone together,” Ms. Beasley Maloney said. “This show is what the art world should look like.”

Ms. Beasley Maloney said she wants the public to learn something new and feel happy after viewing the art.

“I chose artists who work from a place of optimism and happiness even when their work is dark or dealing with difficult issues,” she said. “I hope the resonating memory of this [exhibition] is ‘wow, there’s more that is art than I knew about’.”

Ms. Beasley Maloney will give a curator’s talk on July 10.

Three of the artists are from the Vineyard, including Pamela Flam, Caroline MacMoran and Ms. Beasley Maloney.

Ms. Flam’s The Healing Snake is a vibrant quilt decorated with stitched words that tell the story of a snake shedding it’s skin. In her bio she wrote that her work is improvisational and healing.

Burst by Ms. MacMoran is a sculpture made with household materials and other found objects. She wrote that her work is inspired by the lifespan of objects and textiles.

Ann Smith, executive director of Featherstone, highlighted some pieces in the exhibition that are particularly focused on uplifting the Black community, such as Earamichia Brown’s Afro-Futura series. Ms. Brown’s work shows a Black woman arriving and thriving in a new world, free from bias, microaggressions and pain.

“I can see young, Black girls looking at it and picturing themselves as a superhero,” Ms. Smith said.

Artist Susan Lenz shows off her works. — Jeanna Shepard

Stitch fine arts are up and coming in the art world, Ms. Smith added, with several exhibitions opening around the country. She is excited for the Vineyard show.

“We have really not had a show that focuses on stitched-arts at this level,” Ms. Smith said.

Booklets featuring bios of the artists and photos of their work will be available for $10. Ms. Smith said it’s such a beautiful and important show, that she wanted viewers to have a keepsake.

For a list of the full summer season of exhibits and workshops, visit featherstoneart.org.