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U.S. CITIZENSHIP TEST SAMPLERS

2012 - ONGOING

Photos:

Jayson Cheung

Kanthy Peng

Bun Stout

This program is partially supported by:

2015 Puffin Foundation Grant

2015 DCASE Creative Project Grant

The Illinois Arts Council Agency

A COMMUNITY OF NON-CITIZENS:

PROVING WORTH OF CITIZENSHIP THROUGH STITCHING SAMPLERS

Needlework samplers and their discursive space inform my project US Citizenship Test Sampler, which addresses the socio-historic role of women and the function of non-citizen communities. Sewn samplers were used in Colonial America to teach young children needlework and the alphabet. I am currently hand-sewing the 100 civic study questions and answers of the US Naturalization Test. I will subsequently sell the completed work for $725—the cost of applying for naturalization. This action is motivated by the history of educated adolescent women embroidering decorative pictorial samplers that functioned as signifiers of worth to potential suitors. My citizenship is thus contingent to the sale of the work. Additionally, other non-US citizens can contribute to the pool of samplers, both augmenting the project and building a community. I use samplers to engage with the social and collective nature of needlework’s history, as well as to exhibit the value of non-citizen communities. ​

 

All samplers are now on sale for $725 and the full amount goes to the maker of the sold sampler. Unavailable samplers are listed as sold. If you are interested in participating in this project or purchasing a sampler, please contact.

U.S. CITIZENSHIP TEST SAMPLER WORKSHOPS

2021

Mural Arts Philadelphia   Philadelphia, PA USA

2018

Museum of Fine Arts   Boston, MA USA

2017

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience   Seattle, WA USA

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago   Chicago USA

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum   Chicago USA

2016

Elmhurst Art Museum   Elmhurst, IL USA

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum   Chicago USA

Pulaski International School of Chicago   Chicago USA

Rodolfo Lozano Bilingual and International Center Elementary School   Chicago USA

Benito Juarez Community Academy   Chicago USA

Korean Community Center of the East Bay   San Leandro, CA USA

2015

Chicago Humanities Festival   Chicago USA

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art & Portraiture   Washington DC USA

Rodolfo Lozano Bilingual and International Center Elementary School   Chicago USA

Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design   Asheville, NC USA

FEATURED IN THESE WORKSHOPS AND EXHIBITIONS:

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