Indigo as a material and process has rich potential for generating creative resonance between art, farming, and society.  By creating a first-hand experience of the cycle of Japanese indigo farming and processing, and by investing participants as collaborators in the creative process, this project will generate the raw materials and documentation for upcoming exhibitions as well as lay a foundation for future indigo cultivation at Indiana University.

IndiGrowing Blue is ongoing throughout the summer and fall of 2010, with special events at IU's Hilltop Garden & Nature Center organized around the transplanting, harvesting, and processing of indigo. So come and lend a hand in the planting, harvesting, winnowing or processing of indigo and gain some insight into just what's involved in the making of our raw materials and their relationship to our immediate environment.

This participatory art project is led by Rowland Ricketts and is based on the belief that material and process are central to the artistic practice and the idea that raising your raw materials from a handfull of seeds lends a unique insight into how we live, create, and consume as contemoprary Americans.

Trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan, Rowland received his MFA in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2005 and is currently an assistant professor of Textiles at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.  His work has been exhibited at the Textile Museum, Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York, and was included in Fiberart International 2007. 

For more information on the indigo process or to see examples of Rowland's work, please visit:




IndiGrowing Blue is supported by Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program, funded by the Office of the President and administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.