March 9, 2021 - October 15, 2021
Philadelphia artist Carole Loeffler is a collector of vintage objects such as photographs, greeting cards, quilts, and doilies. She has said, “of particular excitement and interest to me is discovering evidence from the previous owner…handwriting on the back of a photograph or inside a greeting card, stitches on a quilt…” For Loeffler, these mementos serve as “a strong connection to an anonymous person from an unknown time and place.” As an artist, she feels a responsibility to be “the messenger from which their stories flow.”
Loeffler started to use doilies as her canvas after a chance encounter with a young man seeking solace at the Kensington Storefront described as “a place for creating art and connecting to resources to live a better, healthier life.” She heard him repeat “stay strong.” Loeffler wanted to use her art to encourage him and to signal to him that he was heard. She decided to hand-cut the same phrase out of red felt, adhere the letters atop a doily, and staple it to a telephone pole where she thought he might see it one day.
It was that experience that inspired her to continue to create art with messages of positivity like “it’s ok,” “we can fix this,” “you’re loved,” “you belong,” and “you got this.” Loeffler says that by using doilies it softens the urban streets where they are located while offering comfort, empathy, and kind words to the community.