rom Williamsport to New York: After being featured as a
part of the Art Faculty Show in the new Lycoming College Art
Gallery in December, Lynn Estomin’s multimedia art project
“SHAME” is now on display at Hartwick College in Oneonta,
New York through March 28th. The art is being exhibited as a
part of the college’s campus-wide symposium, “Health and the
Environment: Individual Courage and Community Activism.”
“SHAME is my response to runaway shops and unsafe
conditions in the global textile industry,” said Estomin. “I used
a variety of art to draw attention to the low wages and unsafe
working conditions in the production of the clothes we wear
and the stories of the women who worked in the industry.”
“SHAME” combines image transfer, an interactive website,
video, magazine ads from clothing manufacturers, donated
clothing labels, sculpture, silk-screening, stitching and
photographs to draw attention to the history of human rights
violations in the textile industry.
Another one of Estomin’s pieces, “Waterfall,” was recently
chosen for permanent installation in the Susquehanna
Innovation Center. This is the fourth purchase of Estomin’s
artwork by Susquehanna Health System. Her work is currently
displayed in the Tower and Emergency Room of Williamsport
Regional Medical Center and at Muncy Valley Hospital.
Estomin teaches graphic design, digital imaging, web
design and interactive media at Lycoming College. She
creates art about gender, social issues and the environment.
Her award-winning documentaries have been screened at
international film festivals and broadcast on PBS. Her websites
and interactive art have won awards from Adobe, the Webby
Awards, Site of the Day and Canadian Web Association.
Estomin received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of
Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning.
F E AT U R E S
One of the most interesting animations, rendered by Ethan
Bierly ’14, gives life to Shirley Cowher’s efforts to unionize
workers at Weldon’s in 1965. The company had, in the 1950s,
become the largest pajama factory in the world, but still
wasn’t paying the women — who were the foundation of its
success — fair wages.
The video begins by showing a group of faceless women
standing in front of the factory. A fire engine red door swings
open and a bald man with a self-satisfied smile sticks his
head out to yell, “You’re all fired!” The female narrator says,
“Fired? Fired? Weldon fired thirteen of us. Can you believe
it? Some of them worked there a lot longer than me. We were
just trying to organize a union.”
Although Cowher’s attempt failed, Weldon workers did
successfully unionize by 1968. Little more than a decade
later, however, the company closed down the Williamsport
site and moved south in search of cheaper labor.
All twelve animations, along with historical anecdotes
and a short documentary revealing the inner workings of a
contemporary garment factory, are featured on the website
for “A Stitch in Time,”www.lycoming.edu/textile.
And while a lot has already been accomplished, the
project isn’t quite finished yet. “I hope to continue to work
with my students to do oral histories and add new material
to the site,” Estomin said. “The site is not intended to be
a comprehensive history of the textile industry locally or
globally; instead it provides a glimpse into a specific time
Lycoming College Art Gallery project
moves to Hartwick College