In this series, we’ll highlight the staff members who make up the incredible Arts For Life team.
Home chapter: Winston-Salem
What is something you love about your job?
I love learning from the young patients we work with! There’s a special kind of wisdom that comes to kids who have dealt with a diagnosis or lifelong illness. I feel so lucky to connect through art with so many incredible families. They teach me so much, and bring great perspective to my life.
What is your favorite kind of art to make?
I love textiles. I am really into the process of where we get materials to make art. I collect and grow a lot of natural dye plants to dye fabric and yarn. I like to make functional art like clothing and bags, and make textiles to hang on walls.
Name one or two artists who inspire you.
The Quilters of Gee’s Bend have inspired my process a lot. Gee’s Bend is a small, black community in Alabama. They have been making quilts for at least 100 years there and often make them with each other in groups. The quilts are made from recycled clothing and fabrics, and are mostly improvised as they are put together. Their quilts have been shown in prestigious art galleries all over the world.
What is your favorite internet art resource ?
Weaving for kidsThis free online course from Rachel Denbow (@smileandwave). Weaving is fun for any age and this course walks you through it using simple materials you probably already have at your house! This instagram weaving video is also great!
What is your favorite art supply?
My favorite art tool is the Rinse Well (aka the paintbrush toilet). It’s really fun to use and great to have for painting.
I also love gel pens. I love writing on dark paper and the texture they leave after they dry.
I am a big fan of using natural or found materials in art, liking getting colors from plants, or weaving with cassette tape.
If there was a world free from illness and disabilities, where Arts For Life didn’t need to exist, what kind of job would you have?
I would love to have a lot of land and have an educational fiber farm. There would be fiber animals like llamas, sheep, and goats. I would also grow cotton, flax, and a lot of natural dye plants. There would be a big art studio with looms, spinning wheels, and a natural dye set up! The farm would host workshops about where our clothes and textiles come from, and classes on weaving and natural dyeing.
What are two things you’re grateful for right now?
My home with my dog, Harper, and my fiance, Adrian. Harper keeps us active, and we have gotten a lot of work done around the house since we are home so much these days!
Living next to the woods. We have a fox den really close to our backyard! I love seeing all the creatures in our yard, foxes, deer, rabbits, and so many different birds!
Do you know Kelsey? Share a story about her in the comments!