Fibre department garden

The Whitney Biennial may have been divided according to the inclinations of its three curators this year but on every floor there were hints of handicrafts from enormous samples of misshapen glazed pottery to cords of eye-poppingly colorful natural fibers suspended from the ceiling. -Rozalia Jovanovic

Sheila Hicks
Hello ACAD community!

My name is Jolie, surgeon
I am filing in for Tara Niscak, the beloved Fibre Technician while she is on maternity leave.

I wanted to share an exciting new project I am starting here in May. Some of you may know the Fibre department has a big, beautiful patio off room 415, this summer we are going to start a garden growing natural dye plants for our department. As this is a pilot project we will start by growing everything in containers in order to be cost effective and flexible with the space.

A few years ago I read about SAIT’s culinary garden and thought what a great idea it was. I liked the way the garden moves the classroom outside while physically connecting the students to their food and therefore creating a better understanding of what they are eating and serving to their patrons. My hope is by starting this garden our students will gain a better understanding of the materials they use. Working with natural dyes presents a wide and varied range of colours and possibilities. I hope our students will be encouraged to work in a more sustainable way choosing natural dyes over chemical dyes and will learn how easy it is to start their own gardens once they graduate.

In an effort to be environmentally conscious and cost effective I am looking for a few items you might have at home and no longer need. Please have a look through your garages and garden sheds and make a donation to the new Fibre department garden!

  • CLEAN 5 gallon pails
  • Large gardening pots
  • Watering can
  • Hand gardening tools
  • A rain barrel
  • Good quality, clean soil

In addition to these items, I would love to have help from anyone who wants to be involved, send me an email if you are interested in lending a hand.

Article on SAIT’s culinary garden for your reading pleasure.


The Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn has been doing this for a few years, have a look!