Well, Katie promised some actual crafting news, and I do have some of that on the way, but first we have been needing to post about a special project we've got going for months, and just haven’t for some reason or another, so today I’ll get you updated. Katie and I wrote (and received!) an “Art Meets Activism” grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women over the summer. KFW is a really amazing organization that gives grants to individuals and organizations that are making art focused on positive social change. Their mission is “to promote positive social change through varied feminist expression in the arts”. I am so proud to be a recipient of a KFW grant. Although the state of Kentucky has its issues, this is one organization that makes me feel hopeful for our future.
The project we are involved with is a series of meetings with 20 or so women artists from Kentucky to raise awareness of the issue of fair trade. We are doing this in partnership with Peace Craft, a fair trade non profit shop in Berea. We set out to help women recognize fair trade as a feminist issue and the importance of our purchasing choices. (Women make the majority of purchasing decisions in the home.) We really can have an impact on women’s lives across the globe by being mindful of our choices.
As the guest artist, I led two hands on workshops on dyeing with indigo. We hoped that just as all the participants would go away from the meetings with a shared conversation of the importance of fair trade, so to would they all go away with “matching”, fabric dyed from community dye vats, to create their own unique piece of art work. The last component of this project will be in December, when there will be an art show of all the participants art work along with a public indigo vat so folks attending the show can dip a piece of fabric and take a tangible reminder of our message home with them. The participants tried many different resist techniques before dyeing:
We had a full clothesline by the end of the first meeting. (The clothesline is attatched to a metal sculpture of a griffin...We had a great facility that had both inside meeting space and outside dyeing space.)
Bluebird unfurling one of her pieces after dyeing.
I hope to post photos of the group show as it comes together, and I have a post about my own piece on the way!