By JEN RETTER ’16
Photography KARA WRIGHT ’14
Last week art and fashion enthusiasts watched Studio Art: Foundations students show off their creativity in the fifth annual Wearable Sculpture Show—a runway-style exhibition of sculptural art that quickly has become a rite of passage for Art majors at Arcadia University.
Carole Loeffler, Associate Professor of Art and Design and Area Head for Foundations, predicted that the latest show would be the best yet. “Everything—the location, announcer, time—came together this year,” she said. But ultimately the success of the Wearable Sculpture Show comes down to the hard work and vision of the artists. To that end, the new band of artists executed ideas as grand and unusual as ever; and in spite of nerves, most students shimmied, waddled and slithered down the runway wearing their own work instead of drafting friends to model.
In preparation for the show, which took place in the Commons Great Room, Loeffler helped students to think beyond the gallery in order to create wearable art that allowed for performance. “We talked a lot about scale, and the fact that it needs to make sense to the audience. Each piece also needed to be unique and individual.”
Emily Marchese ’16 said students in her class used personality evaluations to inform their creative process. “During the first week, my class wrote a paper about our first impressions of each other. A lot of people said I was social and outgoing, so I chose to represent that,” she explained. Her piece, “A Most Colorful Creature,” comprised largely of paint swatches, colored printer paper and duct tape, symbolizes her gregarious yet guarded nature.
The show was divided into four themed sections: Shifting Traits, Identity: Perception vs. Truth, Human Disguise, and Superheroes. “I didn’t know what to expect, but the wearable sculptures were sick. It was interesting to hear the titles of the sculptures when they walked out. It added a lot to [the show],” said Taylor Schmid, who was in the audience.
“Fear,” a piece by Cambrea Roy ’16, was met with roaring applause. Constructed with a variety of unconventional materials, from nails to painted baby doll heads, the design captivated the audience as Roy slowly crept down the aisle.
Roy, whose theme was Human Disguise, said, “I originally started out with the idea of spiritualism—voodoo, the supernatural. As I was working, I became inspired by fear because I wanted to make people recognize in themselves the things that they’re most afraid of. When you look at [my piece], it’s the same uncomfortable feeling you get during a scary movie. It’s the feeling of not wanting to go down that dark path.”
While Roy’s work of art terrified, other pieces provided comic relief. Emily Delp, who gave herself an alter-ego, “Salty and Sexy,” had the audience laughing as she strutted down the runway covered in snack bags and cereal boxes.
Despite the humorous nature of her piece, Delp explained that she was actually influenced by the idea of fame and popularity. “I noticed the brightness of the advertisements on food bags, so my piece is inspired by someone who wants to be noticed. Since it’s also made of junk food bags, it’s sort of saying that being noticed isn’t always a good thing.”
The Wearable Sculpture Show has become a tradition at Arcadia, and its growing popularity has benefited the Art and Design Department. “It really shows how creative we are and gets us some recognition,” said Delp.
“I think [the show] helps other people to get to know what’s going on in the art department. This is such a big deal to us,” Roy added.
For many of the students, these pieces are just a preview of all the exciting things that they will create as Art majors. The artists hope that, if they maintain the same work ethic throughout college, their dedication to the arts will lead to a successful future.
For now, however, Roy simply plans to hide “Fear” around the Castle in an attempt to scare her roommates.