Dig Baton Rouge

Wearable Art

By Katie Andress

Uncommon Thread ANCHORCulture Candy has recently released the name of this year’s juror for the annual Uncommon Thread Wearable Art Show. This national art show has presented over 200 pieces of wearable art since its inception in 2007 and is a show like no other. It’s an experience of epic proportion with not only  an exhibition of wearable art, but food, music and dancers. The event will take place at the Main Branch of the library on December 5 at 8 p.m.

This year’s theme, “Epilogue” asks artists to “meditate on notable books, authors, or literary characters and use wearable art as means of opening up a conversation about these influences.” Artists from all over the country are asked to submit their work online through Uncommon Thread’s website, uncommonthread.culturecandy.org.

“The idea is to attract artwork from all over the country in a media that is sort of under-recognized,” said Erin Rolfs, program director of Uncommon Thread.

The guidelines for submitting work are simple: each piece should adhere to the theme, be of sound construction and innovative design. A reading guide and other inspirational resources are available through the library’s website ebrpl.libguides.com/fashion. The library will also display work from past shows in November through December.

“Having the library host this year’s show has been such a blessing to us,” said Rolf. “It presents so many options for us and deepened the community aspect of the project.”

Wylie Sophia Garcia is no stranger to wearable art, as she once presented work in this show as well before being selected as juror. Her work also includes sculpture, performance art and installations; and her mission is to “engage the use of textiles as a method of documenting and mapping out compositions and constructions of personal identity.”

One of Garcia’s most notable projects is “The Dress that Makes the Woman.” The yearlong project started in 2010 with the premise “to create and wear a work of art every day for a month and to do so for a year.” Each month, she would create and wear a new garment, working on it for 10 minutes a day, every day.

“I wanted to integrate art and art making into my daily life,” said Garcia when talking about the project.

She went on to say that this project was a visual, wearable diary. Each dress had its own unique personality and was named accordingly. The one that stood out the most out of all for Garcia was “Cupcake.”  The dress was made of satin and stuffed with wool, using a quilting technique called trapunto.

“It was really fun to wear because it was so warm, and it served such a great purpose,” said Garcia. She went on to say that she had a love-hate relationship with “Cupcake” because of the conversations it created out in public.

The project lead Garcia to explore other avenues of art, including performance art and gave her a sense of community.

“The dresses themselves would attract people, and I realized how much people identify with clothes and things on the body,” said Garcia. “It was also a way to create conversation around stories in people’s lives, which has really heavily influences where my work has gone.”

Garcia hopes that those who view her work will be temporarily transported to a playful place and that her work will inspire other artists as well.

“I hope people look at my work and feel inspired to authentically express themselves.”

For more information about Wylie Sophia Garcia and to view current and former projects, please visit her website at wyliegarcia.com.


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