The Sew & Grow program has been in existence since 2010, when it was first a program of the Multicultural Center of Central Minnesota. Today, the program is operated by the African Women’s Alliance, bringing women together to learn, teach, and create sewing projects. The women of the Sew & Grow group reside throughout the Greater St. Cloud area and have origins in Liberia, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, among other East and West African countries. The sewing skill level of each of the women varies from beginner to advanced, and many women volunteer to teach new skills at each class. Some projects include a simple dress or hijab, crib sheet, table centerpiece, curtains, pincushion, and general garment mending.
The collaboration with Sprout MN presented an opportunity for an artist-led, multi-medium project using fabric to create a journey from skill building to art installation. Using a combination of Skillshare, Design/Idea Generation, and Creation, the project offered workshops in fabric dyeing, weaving, and binding to create the materials used in the ultimate art installation which hangs from the ceiling of the Sprout facility in Little Falls, Minnesota. As a former boat manufacturing facility and industrial warehouse, the need for color and movement in space was achieved by using different fabrics, fabrics of different colors and cuts, and structural elements through with weaving and woodwork. The use of wire and ribbon in the weavings further enhanced the impression of movement of the piece.
Read more about the Sew & Grow project in the report below.
This project was led by artists Jeri Olson-McCoy, Lucy Senstad, Heidi Jeub, Natalie Keane, Anthony Schrock, & 25 other participant artists.
Sponsored by Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) and ArtPlace America.
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