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.


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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

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.


Fascinated by grandmother’s drawings and rag rugs, the abstract expressionism of Sonia Delaunay, and traditional arts from Finland, I made a series of rag-rugs to evoke natural imagery– the sun and the rain.

While living in Spain, I was overwhelmed by the dryness of the land. Having lived in Chicago near Lake Michigan, the arid desert was so different, and I started to draw the Seine while sitting on the banks of a canal near Gare du Nord. These became abstract images that I have printed on cloth and have worked into a few designs.

This fall we had a teacher feature show during the honey-bee festival so I made a giant walk-in honeycomb installation out of fabric so that visitors could walk into it.