ShowUp considers American democracy’s impact on our notion of home and political discourse in its fall exhibition Material Progress

ShowUp considers American democracy’s impact on our notion of home and political discourse in its fall exhibition Material Progress

BOSTON, June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — ShowUp is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Material Progress, featuring the work of artists Dina Nazmi Khorchid, Marla L. McLeod, and Diana Weymar (Tiny Pricks Project). Material Progress will run from September 6 to December 1, 2024. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 6th from 5 to 8 pm

ShowUp presents this timely exhibition with the intention of encouraging visitors to consider the state of our society and inspire civic engagement. 

Through fiber, text, sculpture and paintings, Material Progress invites us to explore themes of the condition of our democracy, the (in)stability of our metaphorical home: the United States, issues that polarize and themes that unite. Opportunities for artmaking, exchange and engagement with the artists intend to reinforce the importance of participation in society’s search for a path forward.

Material Progress features selections from Diana Weymar’s noteworthy 5,000+ piece public art Tiny Pricks Project, as well as Weymar’s own collectible work. Both present text-based vintage fabrics grappling with universal themes and ongoing history-making events and issues, while reflecting and memorializing the ephemeral, digital society in which we live. Visual artist Dina Nazmi Khorchid’s textile installation invites visitors to consider domesticity, land and memory. Mixed media artist Marla L. McLeod’s sculptural work, installations and paintings highlight challenging historical truths and re-envision complex cultural dilemmas. 

Beyond the mere visual experience, visitors are invited to participate and engage with Material Progress and current artistic and civic opportunities. A fabric and craft project exchange will take place in the gallery to offer a chance for connection and empowerment through the arts. Voter registration cards will also be available, encouraging and reinforcing the importance of civic action. Live events inside and beyond the gallery walls are planned with themes regarding how language shapes political discourse, constructs identities and inspires action.  

Material Progress is opening concurrently with the publication of Diana Weymar’s Crafting a Better World: Inspiration and DIY Projects for Craftivists (HarperCollins). This curated collection of  “essays, exclusive profiles of well-known creatives, and projects” reflects the artist’s deep interest in connection and resistance through creativity. 

For more information about the exhibition or its events please visit or reach out to the gallery via [email protected]

About the Artists
Dina Nazmi Khorchid
Dina Nazmi Khorchid (b. 1987, Kuwait) is a visual artist who works primarily with printed and woven textiles. Her work constructs narratives of place and connections to lost bodies, through mark-making, photography and material studies, that manifest as textiles and works on paper. She explores themes of identity and geo-politics, grief, land and memory access; in relation to being a third-generation Palestinian refugee, an artist and daughter of a disappeared casualty of the Gulf War.

Dina’s work is in private collections and was featured in group shows in the UAE, USA, Lebanon and Tunisia, including exhibitions at Art Dubai, B7L9 Art Centre, Institute for Palestine Studies, Field Projects, Tashkeel and 421. She completed a Master of Fine Arts in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design (2023), where she was a recipient of the Society of Presidential Fellows Award and a Bachelors in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah (2009). Dina was awarded Artist-in-Residence at Texere (Mexico, Feb 2024), Vermont Studio Center (USA, Sept 2023), Fellow at Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program (Lebanon, 2018-2019) and is an alumnus of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Emerging Artists Fellowship (UAE, 2016-2017).

Marla L. McLeod
McLeod explores identity and social constructs within Black communities through her portrait paintings, textiles, and sculptures.  In 2022 she held a solo exhibition at Essex Arts Center in Lowell, MA and is an artist in the New England Triennial at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Fruitlands Museum. 

In 2021 she received a Walter Feldman Fellowship, awarded by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston and was a spotlighted artist interviewed by Cristela Guerra at WBUR/NPR Boston. 2021 has seen her work in several Boston based art galleries, as well as at Tufts University Art Galleries.  Her MFA thesis made her a featured artist on the MFA, Boston 2020 Takeover Fridays social media project, the 2020 Area Code Art Fair StoreFronts Projects, and one of the Boston Globes “5 Outstanding Art School Grads”. She has received the Will and Elena Barnet Painting Award, a Tisch Library Graduate Research Fellowship, and presented at Black Portraitures, NYU. 

She was awarded a Post Graduate Teaching Fellowship at the SMFA and has  taught courses at Southern Connecticut State University.  McLeod is currently an Adjunct Professor at Maine College of Art (MECA), Boston College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Diana Weymar
Diana Weymar grew up in the wilderness of British Columbia, studied Creative Writing at Princeton University, and worked in film in New York City. For the past decade, she has been threading the needle to create a material record of our times. Both on social media and in person, she has encouraged thousands of people to find their own creative path through personal and political challenges. 

She is the creator and curator of the public art projects Interwoven Stories and Tiny Pricks Project. Her collaborations and exhibits bring people together around textile and embroidery to share personal stories and discuss political issues. She has worked or collaborated with Build Peace (Nicosia, Bogotá, Zurich, Belfast, San Diego), Arts Council of Princeton, Nantucket Atheneum, W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst, University of Puget Sound, Zen Hospice Project, Open Arts Space (Damascus Syria), Trans Tipping Point Project, New York Textile Month, Alison Cornyn’s Incorrigibles project, Syrian journalist and activist Mansour Omari, Princeton University Concerts Healing With Music program, Project Threadways, Alabama Chanin, Open Society Foundations, The Isolation Journals, Kate Bowler, Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Culture House, the Fetterman campaign, Speedwell Projects, ShowUp Gallery, Planthouse Gallery, Molly Jong-Fast, Lingua Franca, and Abortion Access Front, #notalonechallenge, and many others.  Her work is also in private collections.
You can follow her daily doily on Instagram @tinypricksproject and her website is

About Crafting a Better World

From the climate crisis, to racism, to gun violence, to attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, the list of issues facing this country goes on and on, and it’s only natural to feel anxious about the state of our union. Even if you vote, march, volunteer, and donate, feelings of hopelessness (and helplessness) still creep in.

Crafting a Better World is a new kind of call to action: a guidebook for combatting fatigue and frustration with the handmade. Whether that’s sewing a welcome blanket for new immigrants, or making a batch of “vulva chocolates” to raise money at a bake sale for abortion access, this book will teach you how to transform your anxiety into action.

Curated by Diana Weymar, the creator of the Tiny Pricks Project, who knows what it means to meld craft and activism. On Jan. 8, 2018, she stitched “I am a very stable genius” (a Donald Trump quote) into a piece of her grandmother’s abandoned needlework from the 1960s and posted it to Instagram. Since then, she’s turned her embroidery practice into a material record of the trials facing this country and become a leading voice in the movement to save our democracy.

Featuring essays, exclusive profiles of well-known creatives, and projects that readers can create by themselves or with their communities, this book is a means to stay engaged, make stuff, and hold ourselves together as we navigate this uncertain personal and political landscape. With contributions from artists and activists, including:

Jamie Lee Curtis
Roz Chast
Gisele Fetterman
PEN America
Nadya Tolokonnikova (founding member, Pussy Riot)
Guerilla Girls

Crafting a Better World is a response to this unique moment in time when so many feel, in equal measure, deep anxiety and deep hope. So pick up a needle, a pen, a spatula—anything—and craft the change you want to see in the world.

About ShowUp
ShowUp is a nonprofit art activism-focused exhibition, education, and community-building space, creating an innovative environment for underrepresented artists’ voices and visions. It exhibits art activists and engages in its own art activism. ShowUp promotes its mission via its “Three Es“: Exhibitions, Education, and Engagement.

Its mission is to
CONNECT artists to local communities and beyond
AMPLIFY artists and their voices
PROVIDE artists tools for self-sufficiency
EMPOWER artists and curators to experiment, learn, and have meaningful exchanges 

Learn more on its website and Instagram.


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