Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Map of Burlington

Earlier this year I drew a map of Burlington, VT for the wedding of my friends Sam and Elise. I was sorry not to attend their celebration but drawing this map for them gave me a sweet sense of their rich lives there. Both the map and the snippet below (from the front of the invitations) were drawn on paper with pen, scanned, edited, and colored digitally.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sustainable Fashion

Last night was Knights on the Catwalk, an inaugural sustainable fashion show at St. Norbert College. It was one of many events under the umbrella of Fashion This, an exhibition and lecture series looking at sustainable and ethical fashion through the lens of art and design. It's a collaboration between myself and two outstanding colleagues, Shan Bryan-Hanson and April Beiswenger. The fashion show included wearable cardboard sculptures from my ART 131 students as well as outfits put together with less than $20 spent at area thrift stores and a couple of pieces by our colleague April Beiswenger. We've passed the half-way point with Fashion This and it's been exciting to see the work and ideas take root on our campus.

As a quick aside: you can check out #fashionthisSNC on social media like Twitter and Instagram.

Final bow at Knights on the Catwalk
In addition to the fashion show last night Shan curated an outstanding exhibit that included the clothing of Alabama Chanin and the on-site installation of and scheduled tours through a tiny house built by a local pastor Rebecca Rutter. At the same time April's 1000 T-shirt Project was on display in the Godschalx Gallery. April turned her skills as a prolific maker and thinker to the issues of fashion production, waste, and consumption to turn out a gallery-full of sculptural pieces made from t-shirts.

Detail from April Beiswenger's 1000 T-Shirt Project. Photo by Shan Bryan-Hanson.
One of the more energizing and interactive elements on display in our art building was the swap pile. We began with a stash of clothing April curated from faculty and staff donations and thrift store selections. Signs on the display invited passersby to take a piece (or several) from the pile and to leave pieces behind. Students and campus visitors got a kick out of riffling through the pile and finding new-to-them clothes to take home. I found a stunning sequined skirt and a cool t-shirt for my youngest brother. Although that swap pile has been dismantled and returned to the second-hand clothing stream, I'll be recreating the abundant swap ethos later this month as part of my exhibition WERKBOOTS at Silver Lake College.

The Fashion This swap pile at the Bush Art Center at St. Norbert College
Which brings me to WERKBOOTS, an exhibition of my work on display at the Donald P. Taylor Gallery at Silver Lake College through October 28th. The show is a current take on my ongoing pursuit of "sustainable fashion boots." Included in the show are drawings about the process of trying to make my own fashion boots, a display of past and possible future materials, boot drafts made to date, and a work table where gallery visitors are invited to design their own boots and to trade that drawing for a screen print (shown below). Special thanks to Maria Deau who contributed both screen prints and major installation help to the show.
Gallery visitors at Silver Lake College draw boot designs to trade for prints.
I'll be hosting a public boot-making workshop (with an emphasis on low-resolution prototypes) and a clothing swap on October 6th at 8:15 AM and October 8th from 9 AM - 12 PM, respectively. If you're in the area, stop in to join us, see the work, and consider how you might take steps towards a more sustainable style.