KINGSTON, NY— “Sewing in Kingston,” an exhibit showcasing Kingston’s rich garment history, opens Saturday, May 7 at the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, 99-101 Broadway.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of programs showcasing over a century of Kingston’s rich garment manufacturing history and the immigrant communities, entrepreneurs and women whose work has made it possible. The exhibition marks the reopening of the Galerie du Center Reher to the public.
“Sewing in Kingston” explores how people from many walks of life have used sewing to earn a living, express their creativity and share their culture. In the 1920s, the garment industry was the largest labor sector in Kingston. Thousands of people worked to sew shirts and blouses.
Over the years, locals have made items ranging from pajamas to wholesome backpacks; from hotel drapes to collectible designer dolls; from agricultural supplies to child-friendly equipment. The show highlights working artists and makers, as well as locals who have sewn masks to protect thousands of medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about the ups and downs of the industry, the persistence of small business, the imagination of artists, and the power of family, connecting these local experiences to larger historical, cultural, and economic stories.
Opening Day festivities, which include guided tours and family-friendly arts activities that bring the history and culture of Kingston’s sewing industries to life, are scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free snacks and drinks from local vendors will be available, and an illustrated exhibition catalog will be on sale.
Tours in Spanish on opening day are made possible through support from the Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health, and additional funding is provided by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. “Sewing in Kingston” is made possible by the significant support of the Coby Foundation. Associated public programs are made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Humanities New York.