On Thursday, April 21, Greensboro textile artist Aaron Head held an art reception in Selma at the 5 & Dime. Housed in the former Woolworth’s building, the reception is part of the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information’s Business After Hours program, with Selma’s A.C. Reeves spearheading the project. Head was the ninth artist featured in a revolving twenty-five artist exhibition, held the third Thursday of every month.
The artist decorated the space with an array of textiles, ranging from indigo-dyed tablecloths to calendar towel pouches. Outside the building, Head painted a window with a star quilt motif, flanked by words from the artist on either side. To the left of the window painting was the artist’s introduction to both himself and the works produced.
The artist’s website describes his work: “Aaron’s textiles explore the beautiful, challenging, and often conflicting experiences of living in contemporary rural Alabama, while also celebrating and memorializing the bonding traditions that hold communities together.”
Alongside Head’s vision, another window to the left of the painting contained a love letter to Selma from the artist—something organizers ask each “Business After Hours” artist to submit. Hand-stitched quilts in various patterns were a particular highlight, along with live plants used by the artist in his process.
Working with plant-based dyes, Head breathes new life into household textiles through geometric embroidery and techniques like Shibori—a form of manual tie-dyeing, originating in Japan. The artist even had wearables on hand, naturally-dyed and embellished with quilting or patchwork. Lannie’s of Selma catered the event, offering barbeque sandwiches and Golden Flake potato chips to visiting patrons of the reception. Many Greensboro and Selma people attended the reception, along with visitors from around the state.—by Casey Roberts