Kathryn Pannepacker (ACG '16, '15, LTA '11, WOO '04) was featured in a Chestnut Hill Local article about her Healing Blanket Project.
G’town guardian angel uses her art to relieve suffering
by Len Lear
There are lots of great artists in the Local’s coverage area, but Kathryn Pannepacker, a brilliant textile/visual artist since 1994 (now in Germantown), is so much more than an artist. One can accurately say that she actually uses her art to relieve the suffering of those who desperately need such profound help.
Kathryn, 50-ish, started The Healing Blanket Project a few years ago. She created many small textiles to memorialize victims of gun violence in Philadelphia and represent the neighborhoods impacted. Installed outside at locations and intersections where violence had taken place, each textile featured help and support information.
A piece of the healing blanket was mailed to each victim’s family along with support resources. Kathryn also held four outdoor pop-up workshops and participated in various vigils and rallies with Operation Save Our City. The goal of this effort was “to comfort and aid communities in their healing journey toward a purpose-driven life for peace.”
Initially, the idea came to Kathryn when she had a blanket wrapped around her that her mother had knit, when she was healing from hip surgery. “Anyone who knows me personally knows my challenges,” she explained last week, “but suffice to say that everyone has a story and is healing from something.
“Tenacity and patience and care and courage are some of what it takes to get through challenges, whether it’s physical, emotional, etc., disease, grief, sorrow, loss of a loved one, be it from suicide, homicide, domestic violence, addiction, homelessness, depression, joblessness, a break-up. Life can be intense; we all know this.