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Aaron Sinift The Five Year Plan

Location: 58 N. Main St, Fairfield, IA 52556
Event Date: Thu, Sep 14, 2017
Contact Person:


ICON Thursday September 14th

Doors open at 7:00 

Presentation begins 7:30


Aaron Sinift

The Five Year Plan


Come hear Aaron Sinift share his experiences working with the Ghandi ashrams in India.


Aaron Sinift, artist/ activist, is presenting his long term project 5 Year Plan 

with a slide show of the project involving Gandhian folk art at ICON Gallery Sept 14, 7:30pm.


Aaron is a native Iowan, educated at the University of Iowa, with an MFA in painting from Boston University. 


His work is intimately involved with handloom cotton khadi spinners and weavers, which was adopted by Mahatma Gandhi as an integral element in his swadeshi movement. Khadi, the fabric Gandhi himself wore, was designed to fortify local economies as part of an overall platform of freeing India from British economic dominance. Khadi was explicitly instrumental in fostering Gandhi's principles of nonviolence (ahimsa) and "Truth Power" (satyagraha). 


Aaron became enamored with the silk screen prints produced by Gandhi ashrams that have been part of the khadi marketplace since before Indian Independence in 1947. As part of his program to help keep this art form alive, Aaron has compiled two large-format books with khadi cloth pages, each one of a different design. 


Typically they would be used for the production of affordable shoulder bags (jholas), but as Aaron's books reveal, they are also a form of collectible folk art. 


What was initially an emblem of resistance to British rule and to the British re-export of Indian cotton in the form of machine woven cotton, khadi has now, in the twenty-first century, become an essential economic support to millions of families in India, its role in rural India has been partially subsidized by the Indian Govt. These days many khadi ashrams are losing their livelihood and weaving traditions as their children leave the villages in search of higher paying work, often menial and difficult, requiring no special skills. 


Aaron has gathered a group of famous and lesser known artists and art patrons around the world, including Yoko Ono, to contibute artwork for production by Gandhi ashram khadi workers, master block printers and silk screen artists to print and produce not only the pages for his books, but jholas (sling bags) as well. Both the books and jholas are for sale and help support this endeavor.


The third and possibly final 5 Year Plan book is being researched on a consultation trip to India immediately after his Fairfield lecture at ICON. At the talk he will describe a vision for the follow up 5 Year Plan khadi book that will be grown from seeds in collaboration with organic cotton farmers, using non-GMO seeds and traditional methods of cultivation, harvesting and transforming this raw material into home-spun khadi cloth as part of an international collaboration between artists and all aspects of traditional cotton production.

From this long term project a film will be made, and sponsors will share in the finished harvest of art creation.


Please come to Aaron's presentation Sept 14,at 7:30pm at ICON Galley as we welcome him to the Fairfield, a community dedicated to the same vision and goals as the  5 year plan. Both, supporting artists, sustainable agriculture, political activists dedicated to civil discourse and of course self improvement and spiritual growth 


To see Aaron's website, click here:

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