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Elu Indigo Dye Workshop

July 29, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm



Join us on Saturday, July 29th, from 2 pm- 4:30 pm in partnership with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance for our celebrated Ẹ̀lú Indigo Dye + Over-dye Workshop!

Scholarships are available. Apply for a scholarship here by Tuesday, July 25 at 12pm CST


Our indigo dye bath workshop is led by Oluwakemi Oritsejafor, who will teach you how to:

  • Set up and create an indigo dye bath at home.
  • Upgrade fabric provided plus one personal item or fabric of choice using traditional West African batik printing folds.


The meaning of ‘Ẹ̀lú’

The Yoruba name for indigo is ‘Ẹ̀lú.’ Indigo is an organic substance derived from the Indigofera tinctoria shrub that grows in tropical regions worldwide. You can find this shrub growing wildly during the beginning of the rainy season across Nigeria, where the leaves are then harvested and then dried. After they have dried, they are formed into little balls, which are used to prepare the dye. Throughout history, indigo has been used as medicine to remedy a troubled stomach and as a dye. Indigo is also used to ward off viruses; houses are painted with indigo to prevent sickness from entering the Yoruba tradition. Most importantly, Ẹ̀lú also means love in the Yoruba language. The color and meaning of Ẹ̀lú have spiritual and communal meanings that we are excited to share with you at this event and to add to your creative practice.


Oluwakemi ‘Kemi’ Oritsejafor is the founder and CEO of SOLA Market. SOLA Market is a second-hand marketplace for art materials and equipment serving the global creative community. Founded in 2022, she started SOLA Market from her experience of feeling that a career and life made of art and art making was not an option given her socioeconomic background of being born to and raised by Nigerian and Liberian immigrants in the American South. But she realized her creative desires regardless, finding a world of art-making that was passionate and beautiful but defined by access and considerable waste. Oluwakemi built SOLA Market to champion a mission to make art more accessible, sustainable, and equitable to serve the nearly 175 million adults (54% of American Adults) making and creating art by building a circular economy and marketplace to serve the art production and making industry.


July 29, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624 United States
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