Assemble and Duval Timothy in collaboration with Demond Melancon and the Material Institute, New Orleans
Tufting Gun Tapestries presents textile experiments produced by the art and architecture collective Assemble and multidisciplinary artist Duval Timothy, in collaboration with Big Chief Demond Melancon and his students from the Material Institute in New Orleans. Exploring alternative education and spatial practices, this project transforms the Logan Center Gallery into an active site of learning and production through the investigation of an ancient carpet making technique reimagined with contemporary tufting equipment.
The presentation at the Logan Center Gallery builds on Assemble’s ongoing connection with the Material Institute—a fashion school they co-founded with the Museum of Old and New Art that aims to provide free or affordable space, tools, and professional guidance to students in New Orleans. Leading up to the exhibition, students undertake an intensive three-week workshop in New Orleans, learning the tufting gun technique and designing garments, an endeavor that is supported by Assemble, Norma Hedrick, and Timothy. In addition, Big Chief Demond Melancon, a contemporary artist, one of the founding teachers of the Material Institute, and performer with roots in the Black Masking culture of New Orleans, runs a workshop exploring the traditions and techniques of craft and costuming in the city. Following these engagements, students from the Material Institute travel to Chicago to learn, create new work, and share their skills with the Logan’s publics and communities.
The newly commissioned project is presented alongside a selection of Assemble’s past work, contextualizing their interest in spaces for alternative pedagogy, and their expansive, interdisciplinary view of the built environment. Paying tribute to experimental schools such as Black Mountain College, the Bauhaus, and Virgil Abloh’s workshops, Tufting Gun Tapestries uses textile-based arts to create a space for hands on learning and community building.
Assemble: Tufting Gun Tapestries is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and curated by Yesomi Umolu, Director & Curator with Katja Rivera, Assistant Curator and Alyssa Brubaker, Exhibitions Manager. This exhibition is made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, UChicago Urban Architecture Initiative, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center and is co-funded by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).