Learn to embroider while hand-sewing the civic study questions and answers that appear on the US naturalization test. This workshop is for anyone who wants to review—or learn about—the test questions, share stories, think about what it means to be a citizen, or practice embroidery with civic-minded friends!
Aram Han Sifuentes’s ongoing US Citizenship Test Sampler project engages the social and collective nature of needlework’s history and exhibits the value of non-citizen communities. Sewn samplers were used in Colonial America to teach young children needlework and the alphabet. The artist was inspired by her own naturalization process to use the format, creating a sampler of all 100 civic study questions which she sold for $725—the cost of applying for naturalization. Others can contribute to the pool of samplers through events like the one hosted at the MFA, both augmenting the project and building a community.
The artist's work has been exhibited and performed at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wing Luke Museum of Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, Washington; Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum in Seoul, South Korea; Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya in Chiapas, Mexico; and the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Asheville, North Carolina. Han Sifuentes earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.