Ebony Bolt


A successful textile designer, Ebony Bolt captures the teeming, messy nature of modern urban life and wrestles it into an elegantly sinuous organic form. Deeply influenced by the scrolling decorative prints of the 19th-century British designer William Morris (1834–1896), Bolt creates unique designs in varied mediums that mix ornamental elaboration with detailed observation of her everyday surroundings. She has a profoundly sympathetic view of human nature and finds beauty in people from all walks of life. Bolt is an inveterate sketcher of the subway-riding public and says, “I am taking a trip around the world each time I step into a train car.” With this unending supply of varied inspiration, she stealthily fills countless sketch pads of weary commuters, often shown with heads hung from a long day’s work or staring off blankly into the distance.

Throughout her residency, Bolt’s goal is to explore the ways in which intersectionality influences the design process. She will challenge participants to create prints that proudly illustrate their inner being, upending socially-ingrained stereotypes of race, gender, class, ethnicity, while simultaneously promoting tolerance and acceptance.

Ebony Bolt received her Associate's Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology for Fashion Illustration, followed by her Bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship. She has worked as a digital textile illustrator for Tom Cody, a CAD designer at Li & Fung, and has collaborated with Teen Vogue, Bucketfeet, Shop Vida, Artbridge, and Community Solutions.


Make Art Inspired by Joshua Johnson
Sunday, February 18, 2–4pm

Teaching Artist-in-Residence Ebony Bolt, whose work is on view in The Neo-Victorians, creates visually positive drawings and prints that highlight the importance of diversity. Bolt will work with participants to create sketches and paintings in the style of 18th-century African-American portrait artist Joshua Johnson, using acrylic paint or calligraphy pens. Recommended for ages 14+.

Print Hunt & Discovery
Sunday, March 4, 2–4pm

Explore the textile works throughout our Victorian home, Glenview, and The Neo-Victorians exhibition. Create your own prints on paper, based on the works that inspired you the most, using calligraphy pens, watercolor pencils, and other art materials. Recommended for ages 14+.

In-Person Family Portrait Study
Saturday, April 14, 2–4pm

Illustrate members of your family and discuss what features you like most about them. Participants are encouraged to bring a family portrait or picture as inspiration.

Reimagine Yourself in the Neo-Victorian Era
Saturday, May 12, 2–4pm

Illustrate what you think you would look like if you were in the Neo-Victorian era.


February: Visualizing The Human Identity
Challenge yourself to draw the people around you in a fun creative environment. Listen to the stories of others to recreate a visual image based on what you learned about the person. Using a guide, sketch your fellow family members to add to our wall mural, creating a collage of people. Materials include fine point pens, pencils, markers, and colored pencils.

March: Designing Within
How have your personal beliefs shaped the person you are? What are some personal traits you are proud to have? Sharing your point of view with the world is a form of art that can help people better understand. Be proud of who you are and learn to express where you are from without prejudice.

Create a design based on your favorite characteristics, using pre-made puzzle sheets as your canvas. Take your puzzle home in the provided drawstring bag, reassemble and explain the meaning to your family members.

May: Stitching Your Own Story
Objective: Explore the ways in which your family's culture and history have helped shape who you are. Design a composition that demonstrates where you come from using symbols that represent your ethnic background.

Create a patterned design on muslin fabric, using your own self-designed stamp, representing something that is important in your life. The fabric can be turned into a small pouch or pillow, using fabric tape and fabric glue.