Allida Warn is an artist, teacher, and researcher with a practice in Socially Engaged Art (SEA). She creates participatory projects in order to share and learn with others. She loves the ephemeral and the interconnected. She creates contemplative personal work primarily in the disciplines of printmaking, fiber, and non-traditional materials. Allida’s SEA practices range through most artistic media and bridge academic disciplines through collaborations that she cultivates with disciplinary experts from anthropology and geology to engineering and math.

In-Between Thoughts

Focusing on the time “between”

A project focused on art as a reflective practice experimenting with color, fiber art, digital projection, and sound. This pilot project was done in the fall of 2019 to a small invited audience who gave feedback and critical reflection on the next steps to transform it into a larger scale participatory project.

Art is a necessary part of my life. The process of putting pencil to paper or looping needle and yarn help me process my thoughts and feelings 

Video and Images Credit: Jolleen Filio

Focusing on the process of creation frees up my mind to wander and problem-solve.  Seeing the line of color as it turns into form or image gives me insights into whatever is on my mind.  

There have been times in my practice, like now,  when I have enough space to dedicate to making. Whether I have space or not, playing with form and image clears my mind and focuses me on next steps, so over the years, the process has crept into practices that fit in between things.  Instead of weaving and dyeing, I knit more.  Instead of print-making, I papercut or make origami.  

When I lived in Spain, this process bubbled up through work with my students into oil-pastel drawings, that were focused both on final results and process. 

This short private showing was made up of works that instantiate different ways of recording and making visible the process and revelation of drawing and other art that fits in-between. 

Collaborative and Social Projects

There is a tension in creating socially engaged work between breaking through boundaries and creating connections between people so that they gain critical awareness of differences that create dissonant systems.

In my work, I tend to create opportunities for learning through imaginative narrative or metaphorical abstraction. The piece above leverages the metaphor of weaving with different choices, textures, and motions to create a literal social fabric.


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Black and white drawing project. I bring in a variety of popular and contemporary art and pencil drawings as inspiration images along with black, white, and grey paper, and a variety of media like paint, oil pastels, charcoal, pencils, and erasers. Students are then allowed to explore their own ideas and scaffolded to visualize chiaroscuro, and the graphical qualities of line quality.

More Art Teaching

Math Art. Students play with measuring implements, make tessellations, learn modular origami and build a giant Bucky Ball.   It is a part of a six week series taught at FLY Children’s Art Center in the studio, summer camps, and after school programs. The culminating project is the installation of a large Platonic solid such as a Bucky Ball or a Dodecahedron so that kids can get “inside of math.” I developed this jointly with Rob Marshal, the creator of the large objects, Professor Nesa Wu of Eastern Michigan University, and Christine Bruxvoort who was the Executive Director of FLY at that time.

More STEAM  and Integrated Arts Teaching