Making no excuses and taking no prisoners Gio Swaby’s kick-ass threads tie Bahamian history to HER-story!

Speaking to a group of well-wishers at the Peabody Essex Museum, the elegant young artist compared her thread-savvy riff to the cultural contributions of contemporary icons; Barbie and Beyoncè. Yes, the crowd laughed… but after you see this exhibit the comparison is no joke. Gio is a gamer!

In a dazzling display of culture and creativity, a fusion of energetic statement pieces wrap PEM walls with life-sized messages that are not to be missed.

“Fresh Up” is an emotional love letter dedicated to the network of women in Gio’s life, including herself.

The uninhibited designs are both intimate and grand portraits echoing feminine ancestral wisdom. Swaby’s silhouette statement pieces pay homage to her personal journey as a creative woman who fashions herself as a model of self-determination.

Gio Swaby arrived on the creative landscape declaring, then defining, a moment of Bahamian cultural celebration.  The sum of her sartorial extravaganza ties those who are gone and those who remain to guests in a vibrant thesis of feminism and personal agency.

Fresh Up’s tour began at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg then moved on to the Art Institute of Chicago. Historic Salem now shares “Fresh Up”  with guests of PEM. This diaspora is not displacement, rather an evolution to a global homeland. The migration of these threads is a force of nature. Swaby’s tapestry of thought reflects light, includes music and is uniquely Gio.


Philosophically rhapsodic the energy of this exhibit is creatively playful, powerful and passionate.

Come as you are or get your glad rags on to experience Gio Swaby’s “Fresh Up” at the Peabody Essex Museum. The totality of this exhibit is To Di For!

Ayanna Braxton and Gio "Fresh Up" at PEM

Pretty, Pretty Ayanna Braxton and Gio Swaby “Fresh Up ” at PEM!

Now – November 26th Run, don’t walk to PEM and let the colors of the Caribbean kiss your face and trace the threads of joy in your heart.


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