On Sunday, September 15, students, faculty, family and community members gathered on the Southern Vermont College (SVC) campus in Bennington, VT, to create an identity tapestry, an artistic illustration of participants’ personalities.
The first college on the east coast to install an identity tapestry, SVC partnered with San Francisco-based artist Mary Corey March in the first permanent installation of her tapestry series.
Choosing a color of yarn that represents their personality, participants wrapped the yarn around statement plaques placed on the wall such as ‘I am fortunate’ or ‘I like to be part of a team.’ As each participant mapped aspects of their personality, patterns emerged and, collectively, the participants created a narrative of identities that embody SVC.
‘We’re honored to have Mary Corey March lead SVC in creating this very symbolic piece of art,’ said Karen Gross, President of SVC. ‘At SVC and in Bennington, we are all connected by both our similarities and our important differences. This tapestry will develop a portrait of the SVC community and be celebrated for generations to come.’
Mary Corey March was thrilled with the participation in the installation. ‘It was wonderful having the students helping me set it up.’
‘I want to see which statements have been crowded with yarn and what is not. That will show the College community’s personality,’ she added.
Students were heard to say the experience was ‘touching,’ ‘fun’ and that it made them ‘think about what has happened to me.’
SVC’s tapestry will be permanently displayed in the Edward Everett Mansion located on campus.
SVC’s tapestry is the latest of March’s celebrated iterations featured around the country including the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) in New York, Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco and Pepperdine University in California. In 2011, March’s Identity Tapestry was awarded "Best Installation" by Nat Trotman, Associate Curator the Soloman Guggenheim at the BWAC Wide Open2 show.
Founded in 1926,
Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing, liberal arts education with 17 academic degree programs for more than 500 students. SVC recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and as successful leaders in their communities. SVC’s athletic teams are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community-Engagement Classification institution.