Professor Pia Hargrove Displays Hand-Made Quilt in New York University Art Exhibit

Pia Raymond Hargrove, LMSW

“Wise Hearted Hands” by Pia Raymond Hargrove, LMSW

The NYU Silver School of Social Work faculty member shares the story behind her sewn passion project.

I began the piece under careful instruction from a fellow social worker and quilter and then had the honor of finishing the piece with my paternal grandmother upon visiting her in North Carolina.”

— Pia Raymond Hargrove, LMSW

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, February 15, 2024 / — Art and social work draw many parallels. Both amplify marginalized voices, tackle social justice issues, create empathy and cultural understanding, promote healing, and strive to change the world.

With an appreciation for these similarities and more, licensed master social worker Pia Hargrove is proud to display the values of the practice in a sentimentally hand-sewn quilt. Affectionately known as “Professor Pia,” the educator, speaker, and activist features her artistic talents during the “Threads of Loving” art exhibition held at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where she is the 2022-2024 inaugural faculty champion.

Her wall hanging patchwork quilt titled “Wise Hearted Hands” is a vibrant piece made with a combination of locally sourced cotton and Ankara fabric, which represents the textures and patterns of her African and indigenous heritage.

According to Hargrove, the quilt was completed with her paternal grandmother shortly before her passing. The NYU professor recalls embracing the pearls of wisdom shared by Beathina Hargrove as a gifted storyteller. Highlighting her cherished work comes full circle as Hargrove learned to quilt as an NYU Silver School graduate student.

“‘Wise Hearted Hands,’ was created in a community of women during my first-year social work practicum at Maimonides Medical Center where we gathered during our lunch break to craft,” she said. “I began the piece under careful instruction from a fellow social worker and quilter and then had the honor of finishing the piece with my paternal grandmother upon visiting her in North Carolina.”

Channeling creativity into artistic talent is nothing new for this Brooklyn native. Before her years as Professor Pia, she owned a custom engraving shop working with a variety of glass, acrylic, metals, marble, and ceramic to craft awards and gifts. Hargrove also previously designed her own line of apparel and accessories made of fabrics, wire, and semi-precious gemstones.

“Threads of Loving” is open at the New York University Silver School of Social Work in the lower-level student lounge, located at 1 Washington Square North, New York, NY 10003. For those looking to meet the artist and professor, she has been invited to organize and co-facilitate the closing reception on Tuesday, March 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Outside of the exhibition, “Wise Hearted Hands” will appear in the Johns Hopkins digital magazine, The Hopkins Review along with the creative piece she wrote about the quilt. The feature will also include an audio file of Professor Pia voicing the script.

More about Professor Pia Hargrove: New York licensed master social worker Pia Hargrove is an award-winning educator, speaker, and activist with over two decades of experience serving diverse communities. As a professor at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work she mentors and advises on the needs of immigrant communities and those reflective of the African Diaspora. Outside the lecture hall, over 800,000 listeners tune into her monthly segment “Mental Health First Fridays,” on Caribbean Power Jam’s radio show, “The Reset.” Hargrove’s other speaking engagements include voicing the film “Semata,” for the international exhibit, “An Archaeology of Disability” in addition to appearing as a guest on podcasts and other online platforms. In 2012 she founded the non-profit organization Creating Legacies, which inspires community building through nurturing entrepreneurs and offering families diverse social and educational experiences. The following year, Hargrove became a children’s author publishing the book, Celebrate Smiles. As an activist, she ran for New York City Council in 2017 and continues community organizing through leadership in several civic organizations including the New York City Hate Crimes Review Panel.

Farah M. Saunders
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