Last month Niomi Fawn , of Curate, asked me if I wanted to make some t-shirts for an upcoming show at Art.I.Fact here in Santa Fe. I’ve been working on some painted textiles recently, so I said yes immediately. The show opens this Saturday, January 19th (details below).
I decided to make three styles, all hand painted with screen printing ink, on t-shirts that I got at the local Goodwill. I found some great t-shirts, but it’s definitely a mixed bag size wise.
Back in 2010, my advisor in grad school at the University of Illinois Chicago, where I got an MFA in studio art, invited me to create a design for a t-shirt making event at her gallery. Pamela Fraser is a painter now based in Vermont, but back in 2010 she ran an apartment gallery in Oak Park, IL called He Said She Said with her husband Randall Szott. She was organizing an event with 350 dot org, called Global Work Silkscreen, and the theme was on climate change. I’d been making a lot of comics about climate change, specifically about the ice pack breaking up and glaciers melting (see one of them here). I decided to do an illustration of ice floes breaking up, with the text “We are breaking up” for the event. It was a silkscreening party, so my friend Aay Preston-Myint, who is a printmaking genius, got all the screens ready ahead of time, and everyone brought t-shirts and sweatshirts and anything they wanted to get designs printed on.
After the show, I used the design to create some stationary sets that I sold along with my comics at events and in my long outdated Etsy shop, along with some illustrations of glaciers with the text “I am melting” .
I couldn’t find any images of the shirts or the silkscreening party, but I dug up some old photos of the cards. I’m glad to see that my product photography skills have improved in the last ten years!
For the show at Art.i.factory, I decided to bring back my two older designs “We are breaking up” + “I am melting” along with a painted image of how our planet has been warming up, that I created for my climate change themed zine series SHE IS RESTLESS vol. 12 warming. Instead of screen printing the t-shirts, I decided to hand paint all of them. I like the watered down, almost watercolor look and feel that you can get by watering down screen printing inks. It’s pretty hard to control on fabric, but I love how it looks. They are all a little bit different as well. After the ink dried, I ironed each one to set the ink, as well as dried in high heat, and then washed and dried again. So they are all ready to wear!
Here are some photos of the finished t-shirts:
If you’re in Santa Fe this Saturday, I’d love to see you at the opening!
New Year’s Revolution - A Group Show of Wearable Art
January 19, 2019 4-7pm
930 Baca St. Suite C, Santa Fe, New Mexico
with work by yours truly, Drew MC, Moira Garcia, Collageouflage, Jade Seven, Tim Reed, Isreal Faros Lopez, and Niomi Fawn