Needlepoint & Group Therapy with Mary Smull

Posted December 1, 2011 in Blog

Needlepoint artist and Society for the Prevention of Unfinished Needlepoint (SPUN) founder, Mary Smull, will be at HCCC for two events this weekend. Smull is one of the artists featured in HCCC’s current exhibition, Beyond Useful & Beautiful: Rethinking Domestic Craft and will be hosting two community events this weekend in the large Gallery at HCCC.

Mary Smull and participant at a recent SPUN event. Mary Smull, Old Woman, 2008. Found unfinished needlepoint completed by artist using only white yarn. 19 ½” x 23”. Photos courtesy the artist.

Smull’s work and SPUN deal with completing an object of labor–something that was abandoned and unfinished, despite the arduous effort put into the project. She is creating a sense of absolution for this occurrence that most everyone has experienced in one way or another. With our anticipation for these upcoming events, we thought it would be amusing to share some of the works that have been left unfinished by our staff members and artists-in-residence.

I sent out an email requesting a photograph of an unfinished work, a brief description, and why it was left incomplete. Fittingly, I received zero responses. This is most likely due to the inherent guilt people experience when time is invested in a project that has been left incomplete indefinitely and their reluctance to be an example. Humorously, because of this, I was now left with an incomplete project, being unable to actualize this blog post in the way I had intended.

I am hoping that the event on Friday evening will give me more insight into the realm of incompletion and all of the intense emotions that come with this territory. So, if you find yourself filled with anxiety or guilt about projects that have been abandoned around your house, then please join us for a conversation with Mary Smull for Group Therapy – Finish Fetish, Friday, December 2, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM.

If you are unable to join on Friday, Mary Smull will also be present on Saturday, December 3, from 1:00 – 4:30 PM, to host a SPUN session in our large gallery. SPUN is a community needlepoint project, founded by Smull in 2009 to “eliminate the worldwide phenomenon of unfinished needlepoint,” and has been rescuing incomplete works through performances across the country. You are invited to participate by completing stitches in unfinished needlepoint projects. Needlepointers of all abilities are welcome! Once complete, these works will be archived as part of SPUN’s collection. To learn more, visit SPUN.

This is a great opportunity to release a little residual guilt or anxiety you may have and also help support SPUN’s mission, to prevent any needlepoint project from going unfinished. We hope you will join us for these two exciting and engaging events!

–Ashley Powell, HCCC Curatorial Assistant