“Newfound friends have made me a more active and engaged citizen — artistically, socially, and politically. Artistically I feel I have the much-needed support network to experiment and create artwork once again, and I have begun to actively purchase and collect artworks by local artists.”
Amanda Holden is responsible for the entire textile collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Her time with the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship allowed Holden to focus on a single, yet large category within the world of textiles--fashion. During the fellowship, she traveled to New York to attend a course at Parsons, The New School for Design, titled, “Pattern-making for Costume Exhibition Dressing.” She explains of her experience, “Here I learned how to alter basic patterns to transform them into patterns for historic garments. These altered patterns can be used to create supports and supplementary materials for artworks in fashion exhibitions. During this course I created a reference of nearly 50 alterations commonly seen in historic garments found in museum collections.”
She continued her renewal process by attending a symposium on fashion at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the museum’s very first fashion exhibition, Catwalk. For Holden, it was exciting to see the inaugural fashion exhibition at one of the most significant museums in the world. From here, she continued her travel to Paris to witness the much anticipated Fashion Forward, 3 Siécles de Monde, at Les Arts Décoratifs. This exhibition included 300 ensembles spanning 300 years.
Holden’s final European destination was Antwerp, home to some of her favorite fashion designers. While there, she spent two days touring the ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen and spending time with her colleagues. Holden notes, “This small museum is a powerhouse in the fashion museum world.” Her fellowship concluded with a one week course in San Francisco with Sandra Betzina, the author of over ten books, a host on HGTV, and designer of 200 patterns for Vogue. This workshop met fourteen hours a day and gave Holden the opportunity to create a couture shirt and a pair of pants with over a dozen pleats.
The outcomes of her renewal project are far reaching. She expanded her personal network to include museum professionals around the world and formed collaborative relationships that will benefit her continued work at the IMA. It was in her personal life, however, where the impacts were felt the strongest. The process of creative renewal helped Holden recognize the level of resources that exist around her and connect with other creatives in her community which now makes her own professional and personal network so much stronger.