3,500 individual pieces, hundreds of artists hailing from across the U.S. and around the world, and a devoted following of over 56,000 on social media comprises the Tiny Pricks Project, the brainchild of artist and activist Diana Weymar. These staggering numbers reflect a creative movement that has promoted embroidery as a subversively understated means of protest, in sharp contrast with the project’s inspiration, our own commander in chief.
Tiny Pricks began as Weymar’s personal project, without any inkling of the prominence it would gain within less than a year. In January of 2018, she decided to channel her frustration with Trump’s conduct into embroidery, stitching “I am a very stable genius” onto a piece of fabric that belonged to her grandmother. This practice soon became more frequent, and Weymar’s creations quickly began to circulate on social media, inspiring others to pitch in with their own.
In the two years since it began, the Tiny Pricks Project has soared beyond its goal of encompassing 2,020 works by the end of 2020. The project collaborated with a clothing boutique, and contributed to exhibitions across the country. COVID has brought along a new swell of participation, which Weymar attributes to “people suddenly having time on their hands and needing something to do with their restless energy and thwarted political frustrations.” The project will continue to collect pieces until Trump is out of office. After that point, Weymar hopes to display and present the pieces widely, using them as an informal record of the 45th president and the protests that arose against him.
Each work begins with a Trumpian quote that is then intricately stitched into fabric, often with deft or deeply personal embellishments. Among them is a vibrant rainbow “Bigly,” squarely situated on a plain white swathe of fabric, that transforms 45’s unfortunate word choice into a statement of LGBTQ pride, flying in the face of his pronounced bigotry. One of the more popular quotes employed by participants is “she’s not my type,” said by Trump in response to accusations of sexual assault in 2019. Weymar’s rendition is flowery and poised, projecting a discretion and delicacy that frames Trump’s view of the ideal woman, but that he categorically rejects for himself.
These works, alongside many others from the project, will be on display from July 17th to August 30th at Beacon Gallery’s Mixed Messages exhibition, a group show bringing together multiple artists and their work around the experience of sexual violence. The Tiny Pricks Project adds a necessary political weight to the show, reminding viewers that these issues pervade our country’s highest office, but also demonstrates the power of the collective to engage creativity and incite change in challenging times.
Though Tiny Pricks continues to consume much of Weymar’s creative practice, she has also begun to flesh out two new book ideas and has started working with musicians for a major record label, something she hopes to do more of in the future. To keep up with Weymar’s work, you can find her on Instagram @dianaweymar or @tinypricksproject on Instagram and Facebook. For instructions on how to submit your own piece—regardless of sewing experience—visit the Tiny Pricks website. For a more in-depth view of the project from Weymar herself, check out this piece written by Beacon Gallery Owner and Director Christine O’Donnell.