Artist Community

Hilton Rollingout 2016 Ward 7 and 8 Artist Awardees20160925_142125

Imani Russell will teach basic stretching techniques.

About the artist Imani Russell:
“The colors and textures of cloth, new and old, lures me then permits me to manipulate and recreate a thing of wonderfulness; often manifesting decorative art dolls and wall collages or cozy scarves and bed quilts. Hand stitch after stitch I endure until I achieve a rhythm that reveals the soul of the piece then I weave in found objects and contrasting textures.”

Imani W. Russell, considers herself a textile alchemist. She is largely self taught but influenced by her talented mother and maternal grandmother who created hand stitched utilitarian quilts from resources found at home.

In the early 1990’s Imani created Indigo’s Friends, a line of cloth art dolls and notions inspired by the passing of a dear friend and her research of the Gullah culture after reading Sassafras, Cypress, and Indigo , a fiction novel by Ntosake Shange.

Imani was awarded a residency by the Maryland Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to share her craft and to supply tools and materials to the Myan Indians in several regions of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico in 2006. “It was the bench mark that encouraged me to articulate and honor my work. It was also the anchor that forced me to study others in my field, refine my techniques, and remain true to my style.”

Imani is the owner of Indigo’s Friends Studio, in Brentwood, Md. She has an extensive collection of art dolls; many are designed by her mentors in the field. Visit Imani’s website: where she provides a blog, gallery, and links to the artist that inspires her.

Exhibits include The Graham Collection, Wash.,DC, Morrisana Doll Society, Harlem, NYC, The Ellipse Art Gallery, Arlington, VA

Imani is married. Mother of three. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and lives and works in Northern VA.
Imani W. Russell
Fiber Artist


Martha Saunders will lead a workshop on basic drawing techniques.

ARTIST STATEMENT My work is about suspension and convergence. It seeks to tap into such sensory interplay as experiencing two senses at the same time, like listening to birdsong and being aware of the space that sound creates. There is a shifting alertness to each piece where physical and mindful sensations overlap. My mixed media panels, works on paper, and installations speak to in-between states, where boundaries are blurred and contents coexist. Built up layers of material move from opaque to translucent, from seductive surface to embedded photo-transfers, drawings, and organic matter, both seen and unseen. My intention is to create an assemblage, where transitions between imagery, raw material , and notations push painting to function as a phenomenon. Ultimately, I am interested in constructing environments that tap into our collective desire for something tangible as a way to access the intangible. Martha Saunders