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Contemporary Voices: Rowland Ricketts and Emily Zilber

Rowland Ricketts in his studio
Rowland Rickets dyeing cloth with his grown, harvested, and processed indigo. Photo courtesy the artist


Join us for an exciting conversation between artist Rowland Ricketts and curator Emily Zilber. Ricketts uses natural dyes created through historical processes to make contemporary textiles. His holistic artistic practice begins on his farm, where he cultivates the indigo plants he uses to color his artwork. His work is currently featured in the Renwick Gallery’s exhibition Forces of Nature: Renwick Invitational 2020, where he has created immersive installations with handwoven and hand-dyed cloth. Ricketts and Zilber, guest curator of Forces of Nature, will discuss his work and practice in this online conversation. 

This program is a collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.


About the Presenters

Rowland Ricketts uses natural dyes and historical processes to create contemporary textiles that span art and design. Trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan, Rowland received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a professor and associate dean at Indiana University’s Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.

Emily Zilber is director of curatorial affairs and strategic partnerships at the Wharton Esherick Museum. She maintains an independent curatorial and consulting practice, and teaches at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Zilber was the first Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and held positions as assistant curator at Cranbrook Academy of Art and editor of Metalsmith.

How to Participate

This program will be hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. Please register with them through Eventbrite to receive links and information to join the program.

About the Contemporary Voices Series

Meet innovative artists and scholars whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge.