Indigo Squares Project, South Carolina

April 2004

St. Helena Island, South Carolina

The site of this project was Penn Center, dedicated to the preservation of the history and culture of the Gullah people, who first came to the US from Africa in the 1500s as slaves. A teacher asked Ellen to come to the center and offer a project for underprivileged kids from the four counties of the Low Country in her after-school program. Based on their submissions of drawings or stories about people they admired in their work, Ellen selected 60 kids for the project. They made designs in hot wax on muslin squares, which they then submerged in indigo dye, leaving the designs as white lines in the indigo. Each of the kids made one square for the mural and one to display in locations in the four counties.