Aaron Sanders Head‘s studio and gallery in Greensboro, Alabama
We went earlier this year and visited the studio of Aaron Sanders Head — a textile artist who was recently written up at Bitter Southerner
“More so than painting or sculpture, everybody has a relationship with textiles in some way,” he says. “No one really feels ostracized by a quilt, for the most part.”
…and if you’ve read enough about Greensboro and the Black Belt, you’ve undoubtedly come across a certain amount of outside hero worship for people who have come here from elsewhere. But Sambo was not that way. And Rural Studio stays humble, humble, humble, head down doing the work. And Aaron, too, says:
“Coming here was never part of a savior point of view, was never to come here and fix Greensboro — because it’s not broken,” he says as he clamps a lid back onto the indigo vat. “We want to use our existing talents to feed into what we saw here as already being a magical community.”
Aaron’s also teaching classes at Atlas Obscura on dyeing, and other sessions on quilting culture and practice.
When he does in-person classes again in Greensboro, I’d like to go with a friend and take a session or more on natural fiber dyeing. There are classes later this year in Mobile and Dallas.
The gallery showcases the work of other artists as well
We bought one of each on the stand above. Delicious.
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“Our plan is to help make Greensboro a spider web for artists,” says Tim, who’s busy writing songs and is looking forward to contributing to the local live music scene. “We want to make everybody come here.”
…“It’s a town with a pretty high threshold for weirdness, for new stuff and experimentation,” he says. In his experience, locals often ask him what he’s doing so they can help connect him with others who could help him out. “There’s a big infrastructure for support here that doesn’t exist in a bigger city.”
…“There are people who say, ‘I could never live in a small town,’” Ian says. “But they don’t know this one. It’s its own little world.”