Fall 2023 Programming at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre

Tabitha Arnold, Hot Labor Summer (2023), 34″x56″ tufted rug.

This season, WAHC presents a solo exhibition and accompanying residency with American textile artist, Tabitha Arnold.

Tabitha Arnold: The People’s Cathedral
In WAHC’s Main Gallery

September 8 – November 25, 2023
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, September 15, 7 – 9 pm
Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton

Tennessee-based artist Tabitha Arnold creates tapestries whose wordless stories celebrate workers, envision people power through protest, and whose artistic vision confers beauty upon the architectural spaces of the contemporary working experience. Her tapestries ask us to consider how good and evil, and what’s just and what’s wrong, shape the lives and experiences of contemporary working people. Aren’t workers themselves entitled to all their labour creates?

This exhibition is accompanied by the essay, “Care/Work: Tabitha Arnold’s Art and Labour”, by Michelle Millar Fisher, Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Tabitha Arnold makes labour-intensive art. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and later transitioned into a self-learned practice of weaving and punch needle tufting. Her meticulous, tactile tapestries resemble traditional embroideries and rugs, featuring spiritual imagery and historical art motifs on pieces as large as seven feet tall. The themes of Arnold’s work cover the radical past and ongoing struggle that threads all working people together. She’s inspired by the history of the labour movement, as well as her own direct experiences as a worker, organizer, and artist coming of age during a wave of unionization and class-consciousness.

Arnold’s textile practice has been profiled in Jacobin magazine and Hyperallergic. Her work features in print issues of the New York Review of Books and Lux Magazine, as well as on six issue covers of Dissent magazine. She is a 2023 MacDowell Fellow and has completed residencies at Cortex Frontal in Portugal, The Church in Sag Harbor, and Glen Foerd in Philadelphia. Arnold was included in the American Craft Council’s 2022 Emerging Artist Cohort, and her work has been acquired by international collectors as well as the Boston Museum of Fine Art.

Join us for a series of ancillary programs presented in support of Tabitha Arnold: The People’s Cathedral.

Opening Reception and Exhibition Walkthrough with Tabitha Arnold
Friday, September 15, 2023, 7 – 9 pm

Virtual Artist Workshop
Thursday, October 12, 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

Tabitha Arnold in residence at Cortex Frontal, June 2022, in Arraiolos, Portugal. Photo: Mercedes Vidal-Abarca.

Tabitha Arnold
Artist Residency

September 10 – 20, 2023

Tabitha Arnold will be Artist-in-Residence at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre for a period of time during the exhibition, The People’s Cathedral.

During her residency, Arnold will use her time to work on a textile project illuminating her present artistic practice. She will lead two workshops with women from Hamilton’s Immigrants Working Centre (in partnership with Center[3] for Artistic and Social Practice) teaching the punch embroidery technique.

Arnold will interact with guests and visitors of the museum during its opening hours, as well as lead several tours with invited community groups.

Tabitha Arnold’s residency at WAHC is generously supported by the incite Foundation for the Arts

This fall, join our reading club!

Connect around discussion of contemporary issues through an exciting series of books published by Between the Lines

Our new reading club offers physical, virtual, and mental space to engage with thought-provoking writing about contemporary issues. Drop in for one or all five discussions about books exploring gender, capitalism, police abolition, colonialism, the housing crisis, class and more.

Sara Swerdlyk, Publicity and Promotions Manager at Between the Lines will join us the following Saturdays, 10 am – 12 pm, to lead discussion of five exciting titles from the Between the Lines book list.

October 28, 2023Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women by Sylvia Federici

November 25, 2023The Tenant Class by Ricardo Tranjan

January 27, 2024Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada by the Graphic History Collective

February 24, 2024Disarm, Defund, Dismantle: Police Abolition in Canada edited by Shiri Pasternak, Kevin Walby and Abby Stadnyk

April 27, 2024Decolonize Self-Care by Alyson K. Spurgas and Zoe Meleo-Erwin

In the months of October to February, reading club meetings will be held at Workers Arts and Heritage Centre. Interested readers may join remotely through a Zoom meeting link. In April, reading club will be a virtual event. Check our website for details and links to register.

WAHC wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario, CUPE National, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts and OSSTF for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

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Workers Arts & Heritage Centre
51 Stuart Street
Hamilton, Ontario

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre is fully accessible. For more information, visit wahc-museum.ca/accessibility/

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