Good Ombrés for Change

—  A fundraiser I created for the American Civil Liberties Union with aerial silks I ombré dyed by hand.


It all started when...

45 was elected. Candidate Trump’s campaign made explicit goals to “keep the bad hombres out” of the United States. Through Executive Orders and additional legislation President Trump has succeeded in his intentions of closing off the country to all those deemed as “bad hombres” - offenders seem to include any and all individuals who do not conform to Trump’s vision of America. 

In design, an Ombré is a fade from one color to the next. As individuals, we are not capable of being only one thing: just a woman, just a U.S. citizen, just a criminal, just a father, just a student. Our lives are complex, we are varying degrees of many colors that fade together, a spectrum and a range of events that have shaped us. The government’s war on equity seeks to simplify individuals into one category and reduce access to those most basic human rights. 

To express the power of teamwork and collaboration, I envisioned a stunning visual homage to solidarity and strength through the use of multiple aerialists on ombré-dyed aerial silks. With a small team of highliners, aerialists, and a photographer we created a rainbow of aerialists over the Pacific Ocean. I carefully ombré dipped each silk by hand and arranged them in a rainbow to honor both the individual and the collective found in our shared humanity. 

I am awed by the collaboration that came from this project. As a hybrid artist between the highline and aerial spheres, I have never felt such a sense of community and mutual respect. Individuals stepped up and donated their skills, technical prowess, gear, and time in an unprecedented manner, with finesse and grace. To all who were involved: A thank you from the depths of my heart. 

This project is a fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization that works in “courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country” (ACLU.org/about-aclu). 

The Rainbow Collection - 12 limited edition hand dyed ombre aerial silks from this project were available for sale, with $50 of the purchases donated to the ACLU.  These silks were one of a kind, each is a unique work of art. Gaiam Yoga and Aerial Essentials generously donated their Chakra Print Yoga Mat (3MM) and Aluminum Rescue 8 (45 KN) to those who purchased the first 6. 

If you would like to make an additional donation directly to the ACLU, click here

Highline specs:

105 meters on doubled Rubber Band with 11 mil Sterling HTP additional back up. 

115 meters on doubled FeatherPro with 9 mil Sterling HTP additional back up. 

Highline Crew: Josh Bowling, Joseph Manuel Croft, Jon Kao. Richard Kreuzburg, Kaj Pandey, Jesse Ritchie, RJ Roush, Bryan Sipe, Matt Stolling, and Louie Wray

Aerialists: Amelia Crofoot, Caroline Dignes, Sierra Faulkner, Maureen Frieder, Mikah Berky

Photographer: Adam McKibben