Students Stitch Together in Embroidering for Peace

Kristina Smith

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Once March rolls around, anyone strolling by the green will notice embroidered sheets flapping in the wind. This is the Embroidering for Peace event hosted by the Spanish club. Each year this is a chance for positive messages to surround the green, to view art by fellow students, and to have a platform for your stories.

Constanza Lopez, a Professor of Spanish and Latin American Culture, began the event in 2012 and since then has accumulated more than 330 pieces of embroidery. She was inspired to create the embroidering event when she learned about women creating artistic testimonials of their past.

“I wanted to show the dignity of the people, and how people are empowered, and how people understand their own stories.” Lopez said.

As the display grew over the years, Lopez created a website to categorize the pieces, and she was able to discover topics that UNF students were interested in, such as violence, anti-war, LGBT+, race, and many more. The site also links photos of particular topics to corresponding departments at UNF like the Women’s Center or the Counseling Center.

Sofia Calvaruso, a Spanish and French major, has participated in the event for two years.
“I think it’s really cool to see the mixture of people that come to do this. And we get to see how students are taking the space and using it for something good.”

Student art can range from quotes to calls to action, pieces of art, or simple bits of creativity.

As finals draws near, students should take a moment to bask in the sunshine and read a few words of encouragement.

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  • Embroidering for Peace

  • Students offer words of encouragement, display their art, and have a platform for their stories

  • "I'm also concerned with how art and activism can change lives." -Dr. Constanza Lopez

  • Students stitch messages of many languages

  • Students gather to embroider their messages

  • "We get to see how students are taking space and using it for something good."-Student Sofia Calvaruso

  • Many students choose to put up quotes

  • Camila Gonzalez helps put up the pieces

  • Dr. Lopez offers to teach any new comers how to embroider