Arianne King Comer
Board Member at Large
Arianne King Comer, a BFA graduate of Howard University, resides in North Charleston, SC as an artist, teacher, art consultant, and indigo advocate.
In 1992, Arianne received the UN/USIS grant to study under the renowned Batik artist Nike Olyani Davis in Oshogbo Nigeria, where her passion for indigo manifested.
Since 1995 Arianne has been in multiple solo and joint exhibitions nationally and statewide. As a South Carolina resident artist, she continues teaching community base textile and multi-medium programs.
Arianne is a board member of the International Center for the Indigo Culture (ICIC) and an SC representative for Economic Empowerment through Crafts through Bloomberg Philanthropy Project.
Board Member at Large
Donna Hardy is the founder of The International Center for Indigo Culture and Sea Island Indigo. Her earliest memories are of learning about plants and the natural world from her mother, as well as developing an intense inquisitiveness about fiber and textiles. Her love of plants evolved to a deep appreciation and curiosity for their various applications, which lead to Donna’s driven and thorough scholarship of textiles and natural dyes, with an intense focus on the history of indigo in South Carolina and Georgia. Rooted in a profound history, with a deep relationship with indigo, Donna is working to create a thriving, sustainable indigo culture in America.
Being married to an indigo textile artist (Caroline Harper, founder of CHI design indigo) means that I get to combine my career as a land conservation professional with a love of ecologically-focused design. When we practice our best stewardship of land, we celebrate the whole community of people, plants and animals it supports. I value my role in the farm-to-fabric supply chain, with a focus on growing the indigo plants and processing them into dye that others can use.
I believe that our collaboration as growers, textile artists, and designers is essential to inspire people to see the beauty of indigo as a vibrant part of a local living economy in the 21st century. Since the first time I planted indigo seeds in the spring, raised them over the summer to become healthy plants taller than I am, learned to harvest and make the dye the fall, and finally put on a freshly dyed deep blue shirt that captured that whole growing season in one color, I knew there is a magic in this plant that reconnects us to the land and to each other.
I studied Fibers at Savannah College of Art and Design in the '90s and am a recent graduate of the MA, Critical and Historical Craft program at Warren Wilson College. My textile career began at one of the oldest weaving mills in the US, Churchill Weavers. This hands-on exposure to production taught me the importance of understanding the materials and processes of products designed. I continued designing textiles for nearly 15 years, collaborating with designers, and architects. One of the most important aspects of my career has been the impact of working within a fast-changing industry. This has influenced me in that I aim to keep my eye on both the past and the future. With my recent MA, a focus on the history of textiles and craft brings my design and research careers into further alignment.
Since 2010, I have worked as a freelance designer, textile consultant, teacher and have my own business as a Professional Organizer and productivity consultant. Shortly after moving to Charleston, SC, I began working with indigo and learning about the cultural and historic relevance of this plant and dye to our country and the world. Charleston's art scene is native and raw as well as vibrant and alive...rooted in history and inspired by the beauty that surrounds us.
Executive Director at Osun's Village Miami & African Caribbean Cultural Arts Corridor, Miami, Florida, United States
Board Member at Large
Tony Williams is a Cleveland-based artist whose work has been shown in numerous local and national juried shows and international shows. His most recent "Biennial Juried Exhibition" 2021 Riffe Gallery Columbus, Oh and "Black Creativity" Chicago, IL, "Sankofa" 14th Annual African American Fiber Arts Exhibit, Charleston, SC, "About Body About Face" Cleveland Oh, "Paper on Skin", exhibit 2020 Tasmania, Australia, 75th Ohio Annual Exhibition at the Zanesville Museum of Art, "seenUNseen," Cleveland Oh. Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion Fellow: Waterways to Waterways and "Contemporary Fibers", National Juried Textile Exhibition in St. Augustine Historical Society St Augustine, FL, "Paper on Skin" 2018, exhibit Tasmania, Australia, "A Dialogue in Black and White", exhibit Charleston, SC. His public Art projects include The Year of the Horse, Year of the Sheep sculptures Asia Town Cleveland, Oh and The 100 Leaves sculptures Beachwood, Oh. Tony is currently an artist in residence at the Morgan Conservatory working with Indigo on paper, and past recipient of a Karamu House- Room in the House artist residency. A 2019 Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion Fellow: Waterways to Waterways and Contemporary Fibers,
He curated his first exhibition, "In the Beginning", at the Tri-C Eastern Campus Gallery Highland Hills, Ohio, 1998 and "The Ardent Thread", 2020 Artists Archives of the Western Reserve Cleveland, Oh, and co-curator for "CONVERGE" LGBTQIA+ art exhibition 2021 Artists Archives of the Western Reserve Cleveland.