By Hellen Ascoli

Location: Italianate Garden

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Hellen Ascoli is a textile based artist, weaver and mediator living and working in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Madison, WI. She will create a Caravan of flower for Montalvo’s grounds, this work will be comprised of hand woven saddle bags draped over small furniture pieces such as saw horses, and small constructions referencing movable markets. These saddle bags’ warp will be made from thread of recycled clothing, and lined with similar materials known as pacas in Guatamala. Pacas is an export threatening the traditional weaving culture of Guatamala.

In addition, Ascoli will create a version of a Mayan back strap loom and invite visitors to join her in creating a participatory weaving for Montalvo’s grounds. Located in the Italianate garden, the loom will be fed with fibers created from bacas, or fabric/clothing waste exported from the US Central and South America. As a creative principal, the artist will employ the act of thinking while making, and create a space for contemplative reflection about struggles facing refugees at the southern border of the United States.