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Dyeing on the Beach -- Monika Neuland's Experiential Workshops Run through August

All summer, CCRx is partnering with artist Monika Neuland and Envision Unlimited to host experiential dyeing workshops on the shore of Lake Michigan at beaches in South Shore and Uptown neighborhoods of Chicago.

In the surf and sand, participants decorate and dye cotton textiles, such as pillowcases that might otherwise be disposed of. They create brushes from found materials such as twigs and feathers, and work with dyes that are a combination of natural pigments and some synthetic dying agents. Neuland guides participants at all skill levels in a process that is immersive and based in sustainability. “This workshop is about giving yourself permission to make a mess and experience an ecstatic outburst,” said Neuland. The workshops are very casual, simple, and accessible, even if you are not typically a crafter or artist. Neuland has been conducting this workshop for the last five years, working with artists from Envision Unlimited, who are also trained as assistants. The workshop format began with ceramic work that progressed to include textiles that are her current focus.


Neuland feels the experience of working outdoors is integral to the cyclical ethos of repurposing, and that it, “refers more to insects pollinating flowers than it does to people making art.” Participants are all close to the earth, working together and sharing common space, while also being productive and creative. The finished pieces go to good use in the fall, when the Sewing Bee workshop takes place. The Sewing Bee workshop enables participants to sew dyed, large, cotton bedsheets into colorful quilts. Participants can also bring their own sewing work to do in community with others.

These 3-hour summer workshops began in July, and run through August. Participants can take one or several. Participants are asked to bring their own used pillowcase or 100% cotton cloth to dye. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the summer weather and the beach while also doing something concrete.

Participants are invited to a Sewing Bee workshop in the Fall if they would like to see their work incorporated into a finished product like a quilt.

Workshop Fee $30.00 Teachers are eligible for a discounted workshop fee of $20.

All workshops are from 11am – 2pm.

South Shore Beach , 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60649

Monday July 9 Wednesday July 11 Tuesday July 17 Monday August 13 Tuesday August 14

Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive

Friday July 13 Thursday July 19 Tuesday July 24 Tuesday August 7 Wednesday August 15

For more information about Neuland’s work and the Summer Outdoor Studio, visit the Social Fiber Facebook Group.

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