Brown Street Youth Explore Fabric and Textiles With Local Artists
Experiential learning is the foundation of Neu-Life's arts education model, enabling youth of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels to participate in the arts. A popular recurring program is Textile Arts - including dyeing, screenprinting, weaving, clothing construction with sewing machines and more. More than just popular and fun, textile arts are accessible, practical, process-driven and common all over the world. They're part of our collective history and can be a vital expression of the thoughts and feelings of today's youth.
Meet Artist Darla Honeycutt
Honeycutt (or Miss Darla, as she is called at Neu-Life) is a Milwaukee native with 8 years of Fashion Design experience specializing in denim fashions. Her brand - Dee Denim - offers customized denim apparel to customers in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Brazil. Darla took Dee Denim to the playground to teach skills like stonewashing and tie dyeing, and eventually created a textile arts class for youth called FashioNation. Check out Honeycutt's class offerings at FashioNation!
NL: How long have you been doing Fashion Club
DH: I have been operating FashioNation, formerly known as Fashion Club since 2015.
NL: What has been your favorite fashion project so far?
DH: My favorite fashion project thus far has been our Denim Fashion Design workshops. Seeing our participants’ eyes light up after transforming their denim apparel from start to finish has been quite a reward. Especially because I began my fashion career designing and selling my own denim apparel. Our participants have learned how to distress, stonewash, embellish and much more since experiencing FashioNation.
NL: How do you stay inspired as a creator?
DH: I stay inspired as a creator by knowing that our youth participants can and have taken what they’ve learned with FashioNation and applying it at home for the use of hobby and/or entrepreneurship!
NL: How has fashion and art positively impacted you?
DH: Fashion and art has always been an inspiration for me but they continue to motivate me to see the beauty in everything around me.
Meet Artist Pamela Graham
Miss Graham has been a long-time partner in providing textile arts at Neu-Life. Graham believes that the arts help children explore their natural given talents and exposes them to their creative side, developing skills along the way that they may be able to utilize in the future. "My most memorable moment from this summer was creating t-shirts with the little ones," says Graham. "It gave them a connection to what was going on in the city and allowed them to be a part of the peaceful protesting in their own way."
*Youth pictured with tshirts made with Miss Graham and backpacks donated by long time partner, Zonta Club of Milwaukee.
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