Reflecting the River Art Installation


‘Reflecting the River’ is a piece of textile art. I wanted to use textiles to paint this picture for two reasons. To begin with, it is impossible to reflect upon this stretch of the Mississippi without considering the impact industrialization has had on these banks. A number of the mills that dot these shorelines were textile and wool mills. The power of this river was harvested to produce the very materials we’ll be weaving its portrait with. The second reason is impact. Modern textile production requires an enormous amount of water and leaves millions of gallons of polluted blackwater in its wake. My goal as an artist has always centered around bringing new life to something old. In this case, I get to use the donated clothes and old household textiles of my neighbors and community members to paint a reflection of the Mississippi along its banks.


Hello! My name is Jorie and I am a local textile artist, performer, costume designer and the creator behind Things Borrowed LLC. I started repurposing and deconstructing clothes while working at a local thrift store, b. Resale when confronted with the mountains and mountains of (sometimes never worn) clothes. In my textile art, I aim to work with entirely recycled and secondhand materials. Transforming these discarded materials and weaving them into something new. 

In collaboration with the Mill City Museum and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, I will be creating a Mississippi-inspired tapestry on the fence at the base of the grain elevators along the West River Parkway. We are looking for material contributions from the community to create this piece.

Inspired by the rag rugs and potholders I made with my great grandmother as a child, I plan to use spent fabric and trash-bound materials as the medium for this piece. We are reaching out to YOU, our neighbors and community members to see if you have any household materials or old clothes to contribute to the cause. 

“Reflecting the River” will be on display outside of the Mill City Museum from June 17th through mid-July. I will begin weaving these materials into the fence the week of June 12th if you’d like to come lend a hand or check up on your former belongings.

Examples of Helpful Materials:

  • Denim! Especially those jeans that are too worn to donate! 
  • Sheets, kitchen rags, towels, blankets
  • Tarps, Shower Curtains and Liners
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Old IKEA bags
  • Tee shirts and pajamas
  • Any blue/purple/green/white/neutral colored clothing


Phase 1 – collection (current phase) 

This is when we gather. There are donation bins at the Mill City Museum, Pryze Brewing, La Dona Cerveceria and b. Resale if you have anything to contribute. Bins will be accessible during normal operating hours at these establishments. This is a huge installation and we need a lot of textiles! 

Phase 2 – deconstruction 

Once we have the materials, they need to be organized and cut down into “yarn”. This is the fairly simple, though time consuming, process of stripping your jeans, shirts, sheets, etc. down into strings that can be woven into the tapestry. 

Phase 3 – fabrication

After everything is organized and broken down, elements of the tapestry will be fabricated in my studio. 

Phase 4 – installation 

June 12th is weave week. Pray for good weather and come by to help out if you and your family need to keep your hands busy!

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