The bold colors of fabric in Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin’s signature triptych art piece in Hall Student Center weaves the PHS and Kansas City community together to form a wonderful art piece.
PHS students and members of the faculty and staff were asked to gather fabrics from those in the community to tie Pembroke Hill and Kansas City together. Junior Adib Rabbani reached out to Pastor Alice Piggee-Wallack, who established the women’s shelter True Light Family Resource Center in 2006. Adib and his family have provided volunteer support for the organization.
Adib said when first asked to reach out to someone who has brought change in the community, Pastor Alice was the first person who came to mind. “She’s been helping others for so long and has touched so many people with her work here,” Adib said.
Pastor Alice went to one of her buildings where they held a sewing class and searched through different fabrics that represented the Center and their work. She came upon a piece of burlap. “This represents True Light. It is like the people who come here. It’s rough around the edges, but it’s workable, it’s resilient and flexible. We can shape it. We can paint on it to change its face. That’s what we try to do with the people who come here.”
She said individuals who come through the shelter may be homeless or be in a dysfunctional situation caused by others, so she felt the burlap would be ideal for the project.
Adib said, “It was really nice that she brought a piece that spoke to her.”
As the founder of an organization that builds community, Pastor Alice understands the importance of celebrating and sewing the community together in the piece.
“Anything that brings people together is extraordinary, particularly in this time where there is a lot of divisiveness,” she shared.
Adib said, “We talk a lot about community in our social justice group, the importance of diversity of ideas in our community. Having all of these different fabrics included in the work really symbolizes a diverse community.”