Hello! I'm Ali Blake, artist, educator, wonderer, maker, and COOL teaching artist in the OSDC program at Dorchester's Community Academy of Science and Health this academic year!
The largest question that drives my artistic (and research) practice these days is "what is the significance of creating and wearing our own clothes?"
This experience, I propose, allows us to learn about ourselves and each other through the active work of making and wearing our own clothes (together). Making our own clothing, on our own terms, sharing that (and thus ourselves) with the world, and engaging with the significance from and future possibilities within this act is a powerful experience.
This persistent thread of questioning and creating and teaching through wearable making has grown through explorations in my own clothing-making and clothing-wearing experiences throughout my life. I began to explore this most explicitly as an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design, where I studied Textiles along with Gender, Sexuality, + Race and Environmental Studies.
Photos from end-of-summer fashion shows for Fashion Futures, a middle school STEAM summer program I proposed, designed, and taught through Providence CityArts for Youth (providencecityarts.org)
These interests lead me to put my studies into practice as a teaching artist with Providence CityArts for Youth, as a teaching artist and direct support professional at Resources for Human Development RI, and as a student affairs professional at an art school. The persistent itch to dig into my love for teaching and learning through wearable making brought me to Harvard's Graduate School of Education, where I'm currently studying in the Arts in Education program.
As an educator, I work to facilitate learning experiences that allow us to bring our whole selves, our whole bodies and minds, allowing us to utilize our artistic practices to make sense of ourselves, of the world, of ourselves in the world, and of our abilities to transform either.
At CASH's OSDC program I'm facilitating two wearable art & fashion design residencies! We're exploring a variety of wearable manipulation and construction techniques and materials and will be sharing our designs at CASH's annual Fashion Show in the spring!
Some sneak peeks at our process: