Omi Gray

Artist, Designer, and Teacher in New York

I am a teaching artist living in Harlem, New York. I create because it is part of my DNA!

I inherited my passion for all things creative and my ever-present quest for new ideas to create from my mother, grandmother, and my ancestors from the Mende Tribe in Sierra Leone.

My Mother and Grandmother were self-made businesswomen living in the Harlem community in the early 1950s. They owned and operated a hair salon and a tailoring business. As a little girl, I watched how these two dynamic women created hairstyles, reproduced the latest fashions, and enhanced the lives of their clientele through the art of cosmetology and fashion design.

I create and teach fashion trends through my jewelry and textile designs. The materials and colors I use in my designs can be found as gifts in nature. My jewelry uses precious and semi-precious stones, glass, metals, and shells. The botanical fabric I create is dyed and printed using vegetables, fruits, and assorted plants. Wool from Merino sheep and silk are used to make my Nuno felted fabric. I weave garments utilizing an assortment of yarns, silk, wool, sequins, and leather.

My customers and students ​enjoy the creativity I express ​through my jewelry ​designs and woven, felted, and ​botanical-printed ​textiles​.

The creative process has always been therapeutic and spiritual, filling me with peace and serenity.

Teaching is my way of sharing the gratification that comes from saying, "I made it myself"! In my "Make it and Take it" workshops, I teach how to use and experiment with various techniques and materials, resulting in a one-of-a-kind creation that is yours alone! I enjoy teaching people who say that they could be more creative, as well as those who are experienced. It is so rewarding to take time out to learn, make, and take your wearable art with you on the same day! What a priceless experience!

My studio is in Harlem, New York, where I am within walking distance of Central Park. I can sometimes be found in the park, collecting leaves and weaving on my loom while creating in "Nature's Art Studio." As people walk by, they often come over to watch me weave on my loom. People are always fascinated by the mechanics of my weaving loom, but more importantly, they witness the fabric being created right before their eyes.

As they approach me, I say, "Would you like to try it? It's easy. I'll show you!"

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