Exhibition of Buttons, Patches Opening April 6 at Catapult


The First Friday in April will feature “Dispatch,” an exhibition of buttons and patches, opening April 6 at Southeast Missouri State University’s Catapult Creative House gallery.

The show will feature artists, thinkers, makers and community members who have harnessed the spirit of contemporary button and patch counterculture. Their work considers these ubiquitous accessories as a platform for individual creative expression. The resulting exhibition is a collaborative endeavor that speaks to the diverse and all-encompassing nature of this media and the ever-evolving role of art and communication in society.

A one-of-a-kind creative arts and industries incubator, Catapult Creative House continues to promote artists working across disciplines to promote the interaction between diverse areas of study.

Traditionally, art has been seen as a form of decoration, whereas clothing serves a utilitarian purpose. However, for centuries the two have been connected as artists design clothing which is lauded as art. Whether through color, design or accessory, the humble origins of this association have grown and spawned a movement of self-expression. Two methods of this creative expression come in the forms of buttons and patches.

Historically buttons and patches were used to extend the life of clothing, existing solely for practical reasons. By the mid-20th century, these utilitarian objects became conduits for self-expression, ranging from anti-Vietnam war sentiments to one’s favorite band. In the 21st century, buttons moved into the mainstream as pop culture commandeered the sentiments of the 1960s, and the former practicality of these objects were swapped for an all-inclusive platform for visual expression.

All buttons and patches in the exhibition are for sale, and all proceeds will be donated to Catapult Creative House.

A reception is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Catapult Creative House Gallery. Attendees are welcome to tour the entire Catapult facilities including the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Art students’ gallery and studios upstairs, as well as the Catapult Creative Shoppe which features student work and local business products.

Catapult Creative House is located at 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Catapult Creative House hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. All gallery exhibitions, events and talks are free and open to the public. For more information, or to register for the workshop, contact Leah Powers at lepowers@semo.edu or (573) 290-5372.