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ONA Unveils New Designs at Detroit Fiber Works – One Weekend Only

Ona  Blissette-Otite  is a fashion-forward designer, with a flair for the dramatic.  Originally from the Caribbean, Ona currently resides in Harlem, and has been a designer for more than 20 years.  She will show and sell her latest designs this weekend – July 25-27, at Detroit Fiber Works on The Avenue of Fashion in Northwest Detroit.  Friday, July 25: 6-9PM, Saturday, July 26: 11-7, Sunday, July 27: Noon-5.

Ona’s work has been featured in Essence Magazine, and she has sold her wares at the Essence Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the African World Festival in Chicago, and numerous other festivals and craft shows around the country.  In addition to stylish garments constructed of custom-made fabrics, for all figures and sizes, Ona also makes bags, using leather, denim, burlap, tapestry, mud cloth and other innovative materials.  Last, but not least, Ona is also a jewelry designer, and creates original earrings, necklaces and bracelets using amber, semi-precious stones, hand painted leather, and more.

Open since September 2013, Detroit Fiber Works features handmade, unique wearables and home accessories, and exhibits the work of local artists, with a new exhibition monthly.   The gallery/boutique is located at 19359 Livernois,  just south of Outer Drive.  The current exhibition features work by the Detroit Art Teachers Association. 

HOURS:  Wednesday through Saturday, 11AM-7PM, with added hours for special events.

For More Information, Contact:

Mandisa Smith, 313-610-5111 or Najma Wilson, 313-457-3431

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'JIDE AJE In His Own Words

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Simply put, my work is the result of constant search and experimentation, a product of creative freedom in which the process is as important as the outcome. Drawing and painting typically form a foundation unto which collage, texture and other elements are layered.

African, specifically West African decorative motifs are used as a jumping off point, though I also draw inspiration from a wide variety of themes and influences. An area of interest to me is the traditional or pre-Industrial Age color palette, which I have expanded beyond its original, traditional utility.

While I may incorporate traditional color schemes, I also love the use of bold and vibrant color. One of the areas of African culture my work mines from and evokes includes the various textile traditions. The process and iconography of the famous indigo resist fabric of South Western Nigeria also known as adire (pronounced ah-dee-reh) have become a fairly recurrent theme in many of my pieces and series.

 

My approach to creation is to tackle a new piece or series without much if any direct influence from the previous creations. This is of course an uphill task for one cannot run away from ones self. Over time, many of my various themes and series have bled into or cross pollinated each other.

I’m always on the lookout for new materials and processes, new ways of using the existing and the old, yet seeking to be fresh and original. Working from the viewpoint that culture is dynamic, I rework old symbols, colors and textures to fit a modern context.

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Remembering Mandela - The 20th Anniversary of South Africa's First Democratic Election

Please join us at Detroit Fiber Works for a multi-media presentation and conversation with journalist, Linda Jones and spoken word by a dynamic group of young Detroiters, Obsidian Blues.

While working at the Detroit News, Jones covered Nelson Mandela's multi-city tour of the U.S. in January, 1990, following his release from 27 years in prison which signaled the beginning of the end of apartheid. 

Twenty years later, Ms. Jones reflects on Mandela and the 1994 election through her words, recordings and captivating photographs. She also brought back symbols of that special time.

When the elections were over, she acquired a number of the surplus ballots from a school teacher who managed one of the polling stations.  Ms. Jones is among a small number who were able to acquire the ballots before government officials rounded up the remainder and placed them up for international auction. 

On this evening,  the ballots sets will be available for sale at accessible prices, giving a piece of history to others who could not be there.

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Harriett Tubman Tribute

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On Friday, March 7th, 2014,  we gathered together in Harriet Tubman's honor and spent the evening giving her praise and discussing our own personal health goals.  Harriet walked, and so can we!

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