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Last week Northeastern’s Gallery 360 hosted a Quilting Extravaganza in conjunction with its current exhibit entitled, Entanglements. The event allowed students and faculty to participate in the gallery’s current exhibit, which is made up of textile work by artist Aaron McIntosh. McIntosh explores themes of colonialism, queerness and ecology using floor-to-ceiling-size quilts as a medium. At the quilting extravaganza students were able to sew, paint and draw on small fabric squares any images or words that represented their experiences.

The exhibit will remain open till October 21st, 2023, and culminate in a “Quilting Bee”. Gallery 360 will run the event and will teach students and faculty how to put the smaller fabric squares together at the “Quilting Bee” to create an additional large quilt to honor the Northeastern community’s participation in McIntosh’s project.

More about the artist and their work: Aaron McIntosh & Entanglements

Aaron McIntosh interrogates the intertwined relationships between humans and plants—our interdependence, our co-evolution, and our history of hierarchies—across many artistic mediums. In Entanglements, the artist takes up the metaphoric potential of plant life where he finds speculative roots to scaffold and explore queer ecologies. McIntosh rejects colonialist and heteronormative paradigms that dominate botany in its perpetual “othering” of queerness. Instead, he asks how we might imagine queerness through the sexual and gender-variant dynamisms present in the plant world.

A fourth generation quiltmaker from the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee, McIntosh’s practice is deeply rooted in fibers. He employs this legacy as a language, form, and tool as it offers him both material comfort and a tactile trace of kinship. The quilts, sculptures, and collages on view in the exhibition draw upon images, objects, and stories from McIntosh’s own geographical, cultural, and familiar background, as well as his research in botanical and LGBTQIATS+ archives. Through participatory art making methods, he also draws in queer communities from the places he’s called home.
By embedding queerness into representations of nature, McIntosh envisions a world where diverse queer bodies across time and space are enmeshed with plant life —and where their quilted display envisions new futures for queer and botanical kinship.

Organized by Juliana Rowen Barton, Director of the Center for the Arts, with Madeline Camplese (’24), Gallery 360 Manager and Curatorial Assistant (Spring 2023)