Buy a Print, Help Rwandans

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Elana Joy Wetzne


Yutaka Sho, an assistant professor of architecture at Syracuse, has helped rebuild housing in Rwanda since she visited the genocide-ravaged country in 2008. She was a founder of GA Collaborative, a nonprofit group of design practitioners and educators, which assists in these efforts. But recently, she hit a fund-raising wall to continue the Rwanda work, so she appealed to Jungil Hong, a visual artist, whom she met when they were students at the Rhode Island School of Design. "Fund raising is just not fun," said Ms. Sho. "We're not very good at it. We hate to beg. But we can make art, so we wanted to combine those two things together."

They invited 14 artists, most of them friends from their School of Design days, to make African-inspired designs for fabric in a project they are calling StitchWorks. The Headlight Hotel Print Shop and Tiny Showcase gallery in Providence, R.I., has printed the fabric patterns on paper, and the prints will be sold to raise funds for the housing project. The first set of prints, pictured here, are by Melissa Brown of New York City and Ara Peterson of Providence. 

Every other week, a new pair of 10-by-10-inch prints will be released as part of the Fund-a-House project on tinyshowcase.com for $40 each. Up to 80 percent of the sales will be donated to buy building materials for the housing project in the village of Masoro in Rwanda, Ms. Sho said.          

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