African Tapestry Exhibit to Be Displayed at Chestnut Hill College  

 Women Divided by Apartheid create Art and share stories of AIDS, Poverty  

Release Date: February 25 through Monday, April 6, 2009

 PHILADELPHIA, PA – Chestnut Hill College will host an exhibit of tapestries from South Africa created by the South African Kopanang Women’s Group. The exhibit "Tapestries of Kopanang" will be open from February 25 through April 6, 2009 in the Dwight V. Dowley Gallery, 5th Floor, St. Joseph Hall at Chestnut Hill College. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily.

The Tapestries of Kopanang are 31 hand embroidered panels that tell the story of the universe as they explore the mystery, the potential, and the cosmic link that humans share with all of Earth’s organisms. The panels were commissioned by the Franciscan Sisters’ Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco, and were crafted by the members of the Kopanang Women’s Group. This group of women, located in the Townships of Tsakane and Geluksdal, about 30 miles from Johannesburg, South Africa, was formed in 2001. The word “Kopanang” means gathering together, building bridges and making connections, which is what the Kopanang Women’s group does- it brings together women from different social classes to learn a craft as well as how to organize, share feelings and experiences, and overcome difficulties.

Historically, the women of these two townships were divided by apartheid, but are now joined together through the Kopanang Women’s Group to share life experiences while acquiring new income-generating skills.

The Kopanang Women’s Group is part of The Sithand'izingane Care Project of South Africa that addresses poverty, AIDS, violence, and the impact of apartheid in the local townships of Tsakane and Geluksdal.

The art exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Ph.D. at 215.248.7197 or e-mail .