Garfield Park Conservatory Reservations are free & required. Learn more.
Make a Donation
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Pigment Exploration and the Natural Environment – Virtual Class

May 11, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Garfield Park Conservatory has teamed up with Teaching Artist, Abena Motaboli, to offer an 8-week online course in creating and using natural pigments and dyes. Students will also practice creative writing. This class is being offered to adults, age 55+ and it takes place in the comfort of your own homes!

In this course Abena Motaboli, Chicago based Basotho artist shares her practice of painting, staining, and dyeing with tea, coffee, earth pigments, and natural material accessible at home. Participants will experiment with staining, mark making, and dyeing techniques. The workshop will also have a writing component, focused on poetry and our indigenous lands. Workshops will include space to experiment with material, making homemade ink, pigment paints, guided meditations, and poetry writing workshops. Automated live captioning is available.

Students will need access to email, a computer or other smart device and internet.

This course takes place on Tuesday’s from 10:00 am-12:00 pm on the following dates:
May: 11, 18, 25
June: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Culminating Event: TBD by Students

Class price:
General – $240
Volunteers/Members – $192

Materials: Thanks to the support of Aroha Philanthropies, all supplies are covered for students in this class! Materials will be available for pick up by appointment at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Scholarships are available! Please fill out this Scholarship Application or contact Mattie Wilson at for more information.

Abena Motaboli is a Chicago-based educator, visual artist, and writer. Her art practice is performative, contemplative, and transformative. Known for her intricate plastic installations and meditative line-work in her paintings, she is influenced by her home country of Lesotho and Southern African culture. She uses ephemeral material such as plastic, tea, dirt, and coffee to comment on displacement, past memories, and the culture of creating.

Growing up in international communities and being an immigrant, she is strongly influenced by the diversity of people, memories, displacement, the other, and ideas of human resilience seen through immigration. With the need to find quiet spaces amidst times of uncertainty, she invites the audience to find a space to contemplate through installation or an abstract tea stain. In her written prose and poetry work, she explores these themes and uses them as a base for her sound work.

She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibits such as SOFA Chicago, Bhavan Gallery based in London, Woman Made Gallery, DIFFA Pop-Up Gold Coast Gallery, and Aqua Art Miami to name a few, her work is also placed in private collections throughout the U.S.

Registration Closes April 30th 2021

This program is funded by grants from Aroha Philanthropies & The Illinois Arts Council Agency.


May 11, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,


United States