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Using milkweed as a textile is not a new idea. During World War II, the kapok supply was unavailable which was the standard material used in life-preservers. In response, Americans collected milkweed pods to fill floatation devices for soldiers, as the floss inside the pods is buoyant .  

 Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

MAY WEST's creative inception was heavily influenced by the material resourcefulness of wartime Americans and community collection efforts. Buoyancy is also a material characteristic we relate to the notion of Belonging. Belonging as it relates to monarch butterflies on their migration path and disappearing habitat; Belonging as in feeling supported in water as much as one does on land; Belonging in how it speaks to our experiences with peregrination, and inevitable journeys home.

  Archival photographs are from articles by Chesapeake Bay Program (2/17/17) + CMU Public Radio News (7/7/16). Please contact us if you know the original source of these images.

Archival photographs are from articles by Chesapeake Bay Program (2/17/17) + CMU Public Radio News (7/7/16). Please contact us if you know the original source of these images.