Local Color :
Natural Dyes of Detroit
Local Color is a year-long study of natural dye plants found in Detroit. This project is the culmination of years spent studying both plants and textiles by Place-Based Artist, Kayla Powers. Kayla has always had a strong connection to the natural world and was eager to continue cultivating those relationships when she moved to Detroit in 2017. While Detroit is not a city known for it's natural beauty, a closer look reveals that the vast open spaces -- which were once thriving neighborhoods -- are teeming with life.
Kayla coaxes color from the roots, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds of the native and invasive plants all around the city while documenting the process. She will dye over 50 skeins of wool and use them to weave a series of tapestries. The finished weavings will hang in an outdoor installation for the entire month of September on The Dequindre Cut. The exhibition will be free and accessible to the public day and night, rain and shine!
This work is a celebration of place! The unique ecosystem that is this city will be on display in the form of naturally dyed handwoven textiles.
Local Color was one of the winners of the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge! The Knight Foundation provides funding for the Arts in Detroit and a few other US cities with a focus on art that impacts communities. You can read more about the Knight Foundation and learn about the Arts Challenge here.