Women's College Hospital - Health Care for Women, Revolutionized

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History, culture and unique experiences intertwine through the tapestry project

July  29, 2015

Susan Black
Susan Black

With the new building at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) set to open its doors in a few weeks, architect Susan Black – principal and director at Perkins Eastman Black – is turning her attention to some important finishing touches. Black is asking her friends at WCH to join her in creating a complex tapestry that represents the hospital’s rich history and unique culture.

“The project is another important way for all of us at Women’s College Hospital to make this building our own,” says Black.

The tapestry, which will be on display and enclosed behind glass in the new building, will showcase the important contributions women have made in creating the hospital’s strong sense of community and through informing the design of this new space. (In designing the new building for WCH, Black often referred to the A Thousand Voices for Women’s Health study, wherein the hospital spoke to over 1,000 women from different cultural, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.)

For this tapestry project, staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and friends of Women’s College Hospital are invited to contribute pieces that can be incorporated into the final work. Black is encouraging women to be imaginative.

“Any materials that have special meaning – an old dress that doesn’t fit you anymore, or a shirt that your child has outgrown, even small scraps, ribbons, tassels and buttons you were drawn to – can be incorporated into the final tapestry,” explains Black. “Most importantly, the fabric you submit should evoke some emotion from you.”

Black will also be inviting others to join her in weaving the pieces together at a studio space, in nearby Yorkville. Weaving sessions will be organized during evenings and weekends, in the weeks to come.

It’s difficult to determine what the finished piece will look like – it depends on the submissions. The piece, which will be around eight feet high and about 12 to 15 feet wide, will reflect the women at Women’s College Hospital and their diverse ages, cultures, fears, triumphs and hopes.

“This project will be an extension of all of us who belong to the Women’s College Hospital community,” says Black. “This gift will truly show how our different perspectives and identities intertwine to create a place where people can stay well and healthy.”

To participate in the project: please help us collect fabric pieces that will be used to create this art piece. Any fabric is welcome, as long as it is clean. (Please wash pieces beforehand). Submissions can be dropped in the “Tapestry Bin” near the information desk in the hospital lobby.

You will also have the opportunity to join Susan Black in making this tapestry. If you would like to be invited to the tapestry making sessions, please attach your name and email address or phone number to your special piece.

The redevelopment architects for the build out of Women’s College Hospital are Perkins Eastman Black Architects / IBI Group Architects in joint venture. Black is the lead architect and interior designer and now lends her creativity toward curating and designing art pieces for the facility.

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