Down to Earth – Spring

Nikki Hendricks, a DC Native created a 12-piece fashion collection during her 13-week residency. Nikki broke up the 12 looks into three social justice issues: Climate Change, African American Rights, and Native American Rights and created three fabric designs for each.  Nikki used red rope in each look to symbolize white supremacy. How it affects and hinders each of these issues and ties them all together. The need for overproduction and capitalism affects climate change. The need for conquering and colonization has affected Native Americans and the Euro centricity; systematic racism is what has oppressed African Americans. Selected looks will be on view at the Down to Earth Exhibit in the first quarter of 2022. For now, view one look for each category below and watch the recorded fashion show.

Frm L to R: Climate Change fabric, African American Rights fabric, Native American Rights fabric


African American Rights Fabric

“African American rights fabric, an ode to African American rights, the struggle within, the beauty within the struggle, the beauty within our survival, and what we’ve gone through the adversity, we’ve survived.” – Nikki Hendricks

Native American Rights Fabric

“I was intentional using the color red. Red was the color that most indigenous cultures believe that spirits can see. So that color is important in bringing in spirituality and ancestral connections. This fabric is an ode to the Native American people that used to dwell in the land of Maryland, DC, and Virginia.” – Nikki Hendricks

Climate Change Fabric

“I chose the color yellow to represent the sun and the color blue to represent the ozone. Illustrating the two; trying to find a balance of how much sun and the constant depletion of the ozone layer. Also, I used the pattern of frog skin, I learned that you can tell the health of an ecosystem by looking at the skin of a frog. The pattern in the color of the sky would show that kind of like health and balance of the ozone layer and the sun would be penetrating through so you can still see some yellow in the background but it’s about that healthy balance.” – Nikki Hendricks


Learn more about Nikki’s creative process during his 13-week residency and to view the fashion show, the capstone of her residency:

Down to Earth. Shining a light on the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the Kenilworth area’s past, present, and future with a sharp focus on the climate emergency and its intersectionality with systemic racism. Through Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall we will journey with the artists as they create their projects; focus community advocacy efforts. We invite you to follow along and participate when we can gather.

Down to Earth takes place on the land of the Piscataway people of the Algonquin-speaking tribes, as well as the lands of the Native American people of the greater Anacostia, Potomac, and Tidewater regions.