Amanda Christine Harth’s research focuses on reducing textile waste in the current fashion climate, product development, and creative entrepreneurship. She has conducted research for over seven years on the extensive history of Denim.
September 23rd - November 19th
About the Exhibit 'Blue Collar' is an exploration of African Americans' contributions to denim textiles, twill woven cotton dyed blue with indigo, produced in postcolonial America. The exhibition will feature indigo-dyed textiles, repurposed denim garments, and original quilts created by Amanda Christine Harth and will feature research Harth conducted during her artist residency at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Homan Square. 'Blue Collar,' a highlight of Chicago Textile Week, will be shown in the Guild Room September 23 - November 19, 2022.
Denim has become Harth's textile of choice due to its timelessness and the complex history of the iconic blue jean color. West Africa has a long historic tradition of harvesting indigo plants to produce the color, yet there are few archives holding garments, photos, tools, and documents to support this important African contribution to indigo’s global and intercontinental history. Blue Collar' will be the first iteration in a series of textile exhibitions created to showcase the individuals from marginalized communities and fashion subcultures that have shaped society.
August 1st, 2022 – September 21, 2022
Denim Lab is a fashion design, business incubator and research lab for adults 18 and up to learn how to work with natural dyes and textiles while also gaining start-up entrepreneurial skills to launch a commercial product line. The course will use the history of African Indigo and study contributions of African American fashion in denim as themes to learn about natural dyeing, contributions from African American designers, environmental sustainability in fashion, and online business platforms. This lab is dedicated to sharing the value of craftsmanship while increasing workforce inclusivity, digital literacy, and opportunities for artisans and designers in Chicago.
During 14 sessions, twice a week for 8 weeks, the lab will combine learning about textiles, starting with ancient indigo growing techniques, and construction and pattern-making. There will be research on influential historic fashion movements from workwear to contemporary streetwear. Additionally, this program will teach participants how to create and initiate research to create a sellable product line. There will be opportunities to work with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Textile Resource Center, Fashion Resource Center, and the Garfield Park Conservatory’s natural dyes garden.
Upon completion, individuals will receive a $500 award of support from SAIC as a start-up fund for ongoing opportunities. Participants will also receive a certificate of recognition. Please note: participants who accept the offer must commit to completing all the program requirements and attend 13 of the 14 classes.
BLUE CIRCLES RESIDENCY AT SAIC - HOMAN
November 2021 - May 2022
Blue Circles is a community art project developed by Amanda Christine Harth in the context of her residency at SAIC at Homan Square. During Spring 2022, Harth collaborated with artist Alexandria Eregbu and designer Michael White for the Community Quilting Workshops, where Westside residents were invited to learn about traditional indigo dyeing and quilting techniques, and how they relate to Black histories in America and beyond. Soon, these community denim quilts will be shown in an exhibition alongside other objects and garments by Harth.