GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Amanda Browder pours her heart into her sewing, and part of what she displays is the heart of the community where her works are displayed.

The Brooklyn, New York-based artist produces huge fabric artworks for building exteriors and other public sites.

“I call myself a large-scale fabric installation artist. I drape fabrics on the sides of buildings using donated fabrics from the town that I work in,” Browder explained.

As one of the featured artists for ArtPrize’s first Project 1 experiment, Browder plans to cover three buildings in Grand Rapids using fabrics donated from people in West Michigan.

“We will have these public sewing days that people can come. We will sew the project together and drape these sewings all around the city. I am very interested as a contemporary artist in incorporating the everyday human,” Browder said. “Many times people don’t go to the museums and the galleries because they feel more uncomfortable about that space. So as an artist I feel it’s my duty to actually try to incorporate more people. So this project is where we’re going to be sewing together, stitching, people can participate in any way either by donating fabric, pinning pieces of fabric together or just coming and hanging out and talking with us while we’re making the project happen.”

Browder says she’s looking for donations of non-stretchy, bright and colorful fabrics — cotton, rayon and polyester, for example. More importantly, she’s looking for pieces that are meaningful to the donators.

“We’re going to be doing audio recordings with people talking about where they got their fabrics,” she said. “How is it important to you? What’s your connection to Grand Rapids? What’s your history? And this piece will be a celebration of those histories all together.” 

And as far as being a participant for Project 1, Browder says it’s a dream come true. 

“ArtPrize is a very big deal. I’m so honored to be able to come and do a project here. Grand Rapids is such a beautiful town in itself. I can’t be happier. It was the best day ever to find out, I have to say,” she said.

You can mail you fabric donations to or drop them off at:

The ArtPrize Hub
41 Sheldon Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503